This feels like a difficult post to write but for some reason over the last couple of weeks that title has come back to me again and again and I've been chewing over the topic, so I figure that I should be writing this.
I suspect there are many parents that at times have felt embarrassed by one or more of their children. I also suspect that like me they don't feel proud of how they feel. Who wants to admit that? To be being embarrassed by the behaviour of their own flesh and blood? and of course that is where the problem comes from, we feel so closely attached to them, so responsible that when they are less than perfect we find it hard to deal with. We see it as a reflection on us, we are not perfect and all our flaws and vulnerabilities are exposed for the world to see.
I know that the issue is with me and not them. Of course they are not perfect, they are 7, 7 and 10 and on a whirlwind learning journey through life. The truth is they are never going to be perfect, none of us are. There is only one perfect being and whilst we aspire to be like Him, thankfully He sees all our imperfections and loves us anyway. That is what grace is, the love that Jesus extends to us when we do not deserve it.
This parenting lark is really hard at times, or it is if you want to do it right. I so want to raise kids that are kind, considerate, a great friend, polite, good at sharing and selfless. That is a pretty tall order I'm putting on them and if we are honest I'm not all of those things and the ones that I am doing OK with have taken years of practise. I know that as a 7 years old I was noisy, excitable, brash, forthright and basically bouncing off the walls, just like my little ball of energy is and I know a few people who think I turned out OK. She'll turn out OK too, I just need to allow her the time and the space to make mistakes and to learn from them. No judgement, just love and support.
So I need to get a grip and change my attitude and next time my kids do something that makes me cringe inside and feel as if I'm a failure as a parent I need to remember that I'm not. I'm a good enough mum who cares a lot, certainly too much at times about what others might think and I just need to remember to use the time as a learning opportunity. That is my primary job after all, to love them unconditionally, to help them learn to be really great well-rounded adults and to ensure they enjoy the journey of getting there.
That is what childhood is after all, a journey, a training ground for when they are adults. Through my constant coaching (it might feel like nagging) this is my chance to help them learn to be resilient, to deal with life's knocks and to get back up again, to be kind and to extend grace to those who don't deserve it. Also to enjoy life, to have fun and be fun to be with, whilst remaining honest and keeping a sense of perspective.
My dream for my children is that they will walk close to God and will serve others with a willing heart. They are the things I know will make a massive difference and will ensure they have peace and joy. What I've really come to realise as I have been writing this is that I need to model what I want them to become, if my greatest desire is for them to be Christian servants then I need to be that and I need to be doing it with a willing heart and a bucketful of kindness.
Have you ever thought about what you hope your children will become? I know some friends desire their children to be healthy, others successful and some super rich, but what about you, what is your hearts desire for your children when they are grown adults?
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