What To Do When You Pretty Much Blow It With Your Children

 

 

What To Do When You Pretty Much Blow It With Your Children

Written by Karen @To Work With My Hands, Contributing Writer

It was one of those Friday afternoons.

School should have been finished early on that day. We worked hard all week to plan it that way – and that would have pleased me.

But, one distraction after another, and there we were, wrapping things up at nearly 4:00. Those days happen.

The swirling list of what I had hoped to accomplish during that “extra” afternoon was crashing hard against the clock and the approaching dinner hour. Clearly, my plans were not going to happen.

Just one more thing, and we’d head out the door to get at least a few of them done. 

Then there was yet another interruption. I chose to ignore my growing frustration, but it was slowly winning.

“Can you just let me finish up, okay?”

Translation: “Please don’t keep talking to me right now. Doesn’t it make sense to you that if you will give me peace for a few minutes I can get finished much quicker and that trip to the store to buy that toy that you’ve waited for all week long and have your money all gathered together for would happen sooner?”

That’s really what my curt question asked. And, she knew it. This is the ugly truth.

I looked up into the eyes thinking perhaps this wouldn’t take too long to listen to, and then I could get back to what I was trying to finish so we could go, so we could get back, so I could cook dinner…

There was anticipation in the eyes – eyes full of hope and inspiration. What was this about?

We had spent some time in our early afternoon planning which co-op classes they would each like to take this fall, and one in particular had strummed a chord in our daughter’s heart.

“Do you know what the first thing is that I’m going to learn when I go to sign language class?”

“What’s that?”

“God loves you.”

Her eyes danced with tender joy. Mine dropped with shame.

Yeah, I had pretty much blown it.

That “one more thing” to do had triumphed for the time that I should have invested fully into my daughter instead. I had made the wrong choice.

Ouch!

So, what do you do when you fairly blow it with your children? 

Apologize and ask forgiveness.

Humbling ourselves before our children when we have wronged them doesn’t make them respect us less – it encourages them to respect us more. 

When they see that their parents are real people, just as capable of sin and in just as much need of grace as they are, it increases their respect and fosters the truth that we all, regardless of our position in life, need Jesus to sanctify our hearts. 

Seek to restore or re-do if possible. 

Thankfully, in my situation, I was then able to listen fully to what my daughter had to say and to encourage her that the attitude she was trying to share with me was very good.

Sometimes, however, the moment is lost and you simply can’t go back: you missed that butterfly that has now flown away, you realize that in your haste to get the next thing done, you punished the wrong child for an offense, you missed the deadline for something your child had asked to do.

In these situations you’ll have to use them as opportunities to learn a lesson yourself.

Perhaps you could remember that butterfly the next time your toddler repeatedly pats your leg while you are busy. 

Maybe you’ll purpose to take more time to get the the bottom of a matter and determine who is really at fault, rather than just trying to take care of things and move on to the next thing.

Or, perhaps you could write down the request and make yourself a deadline, setting a reminder on your phone so that you can give them an answer in plenty of time.

Pray for forgiveness, guidance, and strength.

We’re children too, after all, and are in constant need of grace form our Heavenly Father. He knows our every weakness, our flaws, our missteps, yet loves us unconditionally and desires for us to be in fellowship with Him and in a right relationship with those around us. 

When we run to Him with our failures and needs, He is faithful to forgive us, to cleanse us, and to work in our hearts the fruit of His Spirit, making us more like Christ.

Blowing it with your children is not pleasant, but it does happen to all of us. When we fail, if we have hearts that seek to be humble before God and before our children, we can enjoy restoration and the return of joy in our relationship.

Do you have other tips for making things right when we blow it with our children?

About Karen

Karen is a blessed wife and grateful mom to 7 sons and 1 daughter. When she's not homeschooling her 5 youngest children, she enjoys trying new bread recipes, working on DIY projects, sipping a hot mug of tea, or seeking to find the beauty in everyday life. She loves gardening and is passionate about growing from heirloom seeds. Visit her at To Work with My Hands. 

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