Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Know Your Worst Parenting Mistake

Blog topics form in my head based upon the type of day I had.  Monday was a challenging day, partially, I believe, because the kids were over-scheduled on Sunday.  Morning church, followed by only a few hours at home before they were whisked off to a park playdate (which they loved!), then home for dinner, followed immediately by art class and then bedtime prep.  They simply didn't have enough time at home, which they love and need, even if they can't articulate it.  I remember Monday always being a difficult day when I was a teacher, also.  Students were tired and cranky on Mondays, probably because of later bedtimes and a lot of activities.

So, based upon my personal challenges, I humbly bring you this post.

What was your worst parenting mistake ever?  I mean your very worst!

Was it that time you served cake for breakfast? (No....I've never done that. Shame on you, girl!)

Or the time you rewarded a public fit by giving in?

Or was it the time you gave a stern punishment, only to find out later that no wrong was committed--you just hadn't listened well enough?

Was it the time you became seriously unglued over spilled milk, acting so despicably even your husband was quieted and traumatized?  (Um, yeah.  I'm ashamed to say this has happened here.)

I'm not a fly on your wall, thank goodness, but I could probably guess your worst parenting mistake.

It's the same as mine.

Not enough grace or mercy.  

How many times have you lost your temper, only to have your children turn around and extend the sweetest, tear-jerking grace toward you?  Have you ever known them to hold a grudge over one of Mommy's sins?  Has your children's approval of you ever been based on your performance?

Now, let's turn the tables.  We love our children unconditionally, sure.  But is that what gets expressed?  Or are we forever getting annoyed at their shortcomings?  Pajamas left on the floor everyday, despite a chore list? Mud tracked in way too often, despite reminders and safeguards?  School stuff not put away...again?  Toothpaste everywhere and the cap left off....again?

Nag, nag, nag.  Drippy faucet parenting.  We're good at that, aren't we?

How does our Lord parent us?  Does he lack patience, gentleness, self-control?  Is his love based on our performance?  When we commit the same wrongs over and over, does he berate us and make us feel small--like failures?

We all know the answer.

So right now, let's make sticky notes and put them in the bathroom and kitchen, reminding us that our approval of our children can't be based on their performance.  They, like us, are works in progress, destined to fail often.

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. (Psalms 103:8-14 KJV)


Sandi said...

Thanks for the encouragement. It's been a challenging days so far and it's only 8:11 am.
Grace, Grace, Grace!

Christine said...

Thank you, Sandi, for the writing encouragement!