In church recently, a question was asked about how parents can control their tempers (specifically not yell) when they discipline their children. As I pondered that question, it hit me that first off we all have to realize that we are not perfect. None of us will ever be the perfect parent. We are human and therefore we will make mistakes. And really that’s the glory in God’s plan. He knows we won’t be perfect as parents, spouses, friends, etc. Basically we are going to mess up in everything. Mistakes will happen and that’s OK as long as we deal with those mistakes appropriately.
Think about that moment when you lost your temper and yelled at your child. I know for me, when I let those angry words out, my heart fills with regret.
However, here is the wonderful part, what if instead of becoming frustrated with myself for not being the “perfect” parent, I go to that child and apologize for losing my temper? And not just a quick, in-passing “I’m sorry”, a true apology. An apology where I pull that child aside and let him know that I made a mistake and I’m asking their forgiveness.
That moment can become an incredible teaching moment. Think of all the lessons I am teaching my child:
- Mom is NOT perfect
How much more healthy will our children be if they see us asking them for forgiveness? If they can realize that their parents aren’t perfect? Hopefully they will also realize that they also don’t have to be perfect. They have a Savior to take care of that perfection for them. All they need to do is repent when they make a mistake. Repent, just like mom or dad repent when they make a mistake.
The more we, as parents, ask our children for forgiveness, the easier it will be for our children to do the same. Isn’t this plan amazing? We can learn from our mistakes AND our children can learn from our mistakes. Nobody will EVER be perfect, ESPECIALLY parents. So take advantage of that fact and begin to utilized your lack of perfection to teach your children.
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