I had a huge epiphany about parenting – maybe this only struck me like a ton of bricks, but maybe you can relate too?
I got my parenting goals a little confused. Somehow, I thought that because I’ve accepted Christ, and am covered by His grace and forgiveness, that I could pass perfection onto my kids. Not that they would be forgiven because I am, but because “I got it” I could teach them to not need it. Without ever truly thinking it out, I think my goal and parenting plans included raising kids that were perfect. But that’s not the goal, at all. In fact, that’s not even possible.
My kids will make mistakes, daily. And my job as their Momma is not to cover up, avoid, hide from, or pretend like mistakes don’t happen. My job is to remind them of why we need Jesus, why His sacrifice makes a difference for us, and how much He loves us. My job is to teach them to seek Jesus daily, asking for forgiveness, and grace.
I also get to teach them to share grace with others. Something tells me, that even if it were possible and I raised perfect kids, they wouldn’t be so pleasant. If they didn’t need grace, what would teach them to give grace? We all need grace. We need the grace from our Father in heaven; we need grace from friends and family, and even strangers. My kids need grace from me and I, equally, need grace from them.
We make mistakes daily, and I think the greatest thing we can teach our kids about mistakes is to respond properly to them. We can teach our kids to recognize mistakes, and to seek forgiveness from God, and from the person whom they offended. We also get to teach them to forgive themselves, and more importantly, to accept forgiveness from God. This is something I will have to be very intentional about as a parent, because I have a hard time accepting forgiveness. I struggle with extreme guilt over things that have long been over.
How do you respond when your kids make a mistake? How can you change or improve your response to help them grow?