Parenting Tip: There Are Times When You Can't Mess It Up

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When do you need to be careful of how you respond to your child's misbehavior?

There are things your children are going to do that will make you want to trade them in for another child!  They will hurt you, frustrate you, embarrass you, humiliate you, disappoint you, discourage you, and basically wipe you out from time to time.  No child is perfect, therefore no parent will ever miss out on the opportunity of being wounded emotionally by their child.

Feel discouraged yet? Don’t be. Parenting is both the greatest and hardest job you will ever face.  But it is also the most rewarding, too. There are going to be times when your kid really messes up things for you and your family.  In those moments, you have to respond in a way that is loving, honoring, and respectful.

For example, if your kid gets arrested for a DWI, this is one of those moments where you can not blow it.  You can not arrive to the station and humiliate, shame, or belittle your child.  You can not make wild accusations like, “You’ll never see the sunlight again! You’re grounded forever!”  Big mistakes require parents to make big decisions in terms of how you are going to respond.

If you respond as poorly as your child’s poor behavior, nothing good is going to come out of the experience.  There’s no positive message to be learned from a major mistake by your child when you blow it with your own horrible behavior.

I’m not saying that your child does not need to be punished, your child will need to experience a consequence.  I’m trying to say that in these big moments, it’s like there are three seconds left on the clock to win the National Championship for your school, you’re down by two points and your teammate passes you the ball where you shoot a three pointer for the win.

If your response to your child’s very poor behavior is to freak out, or shame, then you’ve just shot a horrible air ball to lose the National Championship game.  It would be no ordinary air ball either, it would be the kind that stays with you for the rest of your life!

If your response to your child’s very poor behavior is to handle yourself well, and to lovingly carry out the proper consequence and help your child learn from their decision, then you just swished the shot to win the National Championship game!

So what do you think?  Am I on to something good for parents, or am I being a naive goofball?

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