Transforming Mistakes Into Success

It was just a couple weeks ago when Christopher had a really bad day. He had an argument with Mom, lost his temper, and spent some time in his room calming down. All seemed well by dinnertime until Christopher dropped his plate on the way to serve his food. His plate shattered, and he burst into tears. All he could say was, "I had a terrible day!"

I reflected that I did not learn how to deal with mistakes well growing up. I tended to internalize the mistake, blaming myself and feeling ashamed, usually dwelling on the mistake rather than facing the problem and moving on. That was not a very healthy approach especially when I, like most people, made some of the same mistakes over and over again.

That’s why a love a fresh start: second chances, a new week, or even a new year. We are trained to make resolutions, start a fresh semester in school, and to start the year off right in many areas of life. But is it easy to do that as a parent, especially in the face of mistakes? Does one setback throw you completely off track?

I think the answer to successful change is all about the vision for success. The problem is that we are too busy to develop a clear vision and often to listen to God’s voice about what He would have us do.

So the challenge is to take time now before the hectic pace of life sweeps you away to seek that vision: vision for your family, what you want your children to be like at age 18, and where you want to be in your relationship with God.

Each month the ParentLife team wants to equip you to be the parent your children need you to be. Please let us know how we can better partner with you in your parenting journey!


Showing Grace to Our Kids

Pie graph.jpgIt is so easy to get impatient with our kids! Sometimes I think Dads like myself are short on patience. We want things done right but don’t always take the time to explain and teach our kids the skills necessary to succeed. I found myself reacting with impatience while helping my son study for a math test today. We were doing fine until we hit the pie graphs — yikes! Fractions are one thing, but I found interpreting them through a pie graph was not as easy for my son. I wasn’t sure if he wasn’t getting it or just was not trying hard enough to understand! So I began to get impatient.

Times like these remind me that it is best to err on the side of grace in our dealings with others, especially our kids. After all, I would want the same grace extended to me! And since today I found myself, in addition to not being a perfect father, not being a perfect leader or friend or spouse. Notice the theme here? Much like the Golden Rule from the Sermon on the Mount, I need to show grace to others in the same way I want grace extended back to me. Whether that is in relationship issues, life on the job, or those evil pie charts, God has shown grace to us moment by moment. God calls us to do the same with our kids!
Are there times when you need to show extra grace to your kids? What are the triggers or areas of life where you have to guard yourself against reacting with impatience?