My daughter made a bad decision today. She was playing computer and did something that she knows she is not allowed to do. I was sitting right next to her when she did it- and I got pretty angry at first.
I had just told her not to do that specific thing- and she did it anyway. I got so frustrated- until a still, small voice whispered- you do that too- you do things that you know I don’t want you to do.
After feeling appropriately humbled by that word of conviction, I took a deep breath and prayed for patience and clarity of thought as I prepared to talk with my daughter.
I started with explaining to her about consequences when we make decisions- sometimes they are good and sometimes they are bad. Because she made a bad decision she had to deal with the consequences.
She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “Mom, I want the consequences to be over!”
One of those profound moments as a parent. Oh there have been times in my life when I have felt that way- but the consequences were much more severe than just a day without playing computer.
And a great opportunity for talking and teaching. We chatted for a while about consequences and then she said she wanted to do that activity again.
I really wanted to let her play on the computer again. Because I knew it would make her happy- because I knew she was sorry- because really it was easier than dealing with her disappointment.
So I said no- you have to wait till tomorrow.
So many times, parenting is not about doing what feels good in the moment- it is knowing what you are trying to teach your child and having the courage to hold on to your conviction even when you would much rather be the “good guy.”
The strength of our convictions is what holds us firmly on course when we face times when we don’t want to be the disciplinarian- we don’t want to deal with our child’s tears.
It was hard- but I am finding- and I am sure you do too- that parenting is hard work- it requires constant work and attention- prayer- so much prayer.
There are so many things I want to do better- be a better example, be more patient, have more self-control and discipline- because I know those eyes are always watching- and those ears are always listening.
I pray for grace- that God will protect my children from my bad choices too- especially when they negatively affect them.
And that through faithful time with my Lord- He will continue to mold me into a Godly parent- guided by humility and a selfless desire to serve and teach my children in love.