Parenting Do Over
Have you ever wished you could turn back time and react differently to a parenting situation? You are not alone. Parenting is not easy. Here are a few questions to ask yourself, or with your spouse, to help you consider areas in your parenting that may need a bit of a makeover. In other words, prepare to hit the reset button.
In what areas of your parenting do you feel you lack moral authority?
The best way to regain moral authority is to admit your mistakes, share what you learned from them, and encourage your children not to follow your example in that particular circumstance. You still have moral authority even when you think it’s lost. Remember, you are the parent. Your authority is not surrendered simply because you made a few mistakes along the way. So, regaining the moral authority is really for you to just accept the fact that you may not be perfect, but you are still totally qualified to parent your children well.
What are the biggest mistakes you made that you hope your children never repeat?
Decide right now that you will own your mistakes, admit the error of judgment, and overcome your feeling of lack of authority. Now, commit to training your children up in a way that will help them avoid similar pitfalls and failures. As the parent, you want your children to do better than you did. Here is your chance to encourage them with your life stories to make more appropriate decisions in circumstances they may yet to encounter. If the best defense is a good offense, then discovering how you learned from your mistakes will help them make more informed decisions.
How do you hit the reset button?
Choose an intentional time to talk with your child about the issue to which you feel you lack moral authority. For example, you may feel you cannot speak to your child about smoking cigarettes because you used to smoke when you were younger. You can still encourage smart, healthy choices by admitting your mistake, recounting your struggle to quit, and explaining what is gained from making the right choice from the start. Your child will avoid the trap of comparison, succumbing to peer pressure, and the health risks by understanding your story and the fact that you care enough about their future to share. You make it clear that although you did not meet the standard to which you are calling them, you are committed to helping them have a better life.
Never forget you are qualified as the authority in your home as the parent. You can share your experience and wisdom gained to improve life’s outcome for your children. Your courage to overcome will translate to your children as the courage to make choices that do not need to be overcome. Now, that is worth resetting!