The right response
Today, I’m going to shout out to mothers. Mother’s Day was the past Sunday, which is a nice day in theory. However, for some it is a painful day. Mother’s Day can be hard for someone who has experienced the loss of a mother (I’m speaking of death not actually losing one…I tried to lose mine in target one time when she had my children who weren’t acting right, but she kept finding me :)). It can also be difficult if you had a terrible mother, or if you are at the child-bearing age and you have been wanting a child but it just hasn’t happened. I’ve often wondered if Hallmark thinks of these issues when they make their cards each year…Yes, I think about weird things. Personally, I am so blessed to have an amazing mom. I still need her and I’m so thankful to still have her in my life.
This blog is about how mothers and fathers have the opportunity to show grace to their children through their response to the crazy things that parenthood brings about through children. When kids are little they may say, “Mom, look what I found?” We may expect it to be a quarter but it turns out to be a snake, lizard or other reptile we may not want to touch. As they grow, they may say, “Mom look what I drew?” If the mom in the picture turns out to look a little overweight, the mom doesn’t typically say “what an idiot?” to the kid or something else inappropriate. Typically, moms are gracious and say “That is the most beautiful picture I’ve ever seen!” or something like that. However, something happens as children grow and parents sometimes forget to have the right response. We act too disappointed, we are too busy, we expect perfection, etc…these responses to our children as they grow up will not cultivate strong, independent, successful, loved, compassionate children. These responses will create resentment, anger, and bitterness.
Consider the following:
-If your child gets in trouble, address it at home too. Hear him or her out but let them experience natural consequences to things and be there for them when they experience pain. Don’t handicap your child by always trying to make his life easy.
-If your pre-teen likes someone of the opposite sex, be there to talk to him/her about it; don’t act freaked out or be harsh.
-Talk to your kids about how you’ve failed and overcome these failures so they’ll know it’s ok when they fall.
-If your son comes home and says, I got my girlfriend pregnant, don’t give him a speech on premarital sex and tell him how he’s screwed up his life. Tell him you love him and you will always be there for him and that you will get through this together.
-Make sure you have cultivated a relationship with your children so that when they screw up, get an award, experience a breakup, get a promotion that you are one of the first persons they want to call b/c they know no matter what you love them.
Show God’s love to your children. God loves you the same on your bad days and on your good days. You can’t do anything to make him stop loving you. In Romans 5:8 it says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Have a great week!
Natalie (Brenda’s daughter)