Is your child perfect? I’m betting not. I’d like to think my children are perfect but there have been so many times when their behavior hasn’t measured up to what I’ve expected of them. Maybe they were too shy in a social setting and didn’t participate. Maybe someone asked them something or invited them to join in on something and they said, “no.” Maybe it was in a restaurant when they just didn’t sit still or they spilled something numerous times causing me embarrassment. Or they said something really loud causing everyone’s heads to turn in our direction.
We’ve all had those moments. For our children are in training. They certainly don’t know how to be perfect and even though we know we shouldn’t expect them to be – we do. We can get so uptight when they behave in ways that shocks or embarrasses us! Have you ever wondered why that is?
I heard someone say that we get so upset by our children’s less-than-perfect behavior at times because we feel it’s a reflection on us. We tend to build our self-worth based on our children’s behavior.
Do you realize that God loves you regardless of the fact that your children don’t always behave? He doesn’t “rate” us based on how perfect our kids look or act. He loves us unconditionally. He loved us before we were parents and He will love us after we are parents, just as we love our children unconditionally.
Of course we need to teach and instruct our children. We need to show them how to respect others and take care of themselves. We can share with them about how and why a certain response or situation may not have been the best choice on their part. But we need to free ourselves up from expecting them to be perfect. We need to pray for them, love them, and guide them – leaving the rest up to God.
Our children’s behavior up to a point – IS a reflection on us and our parenting skills. But it does not dictate our worth or value. God has said we are valuable and He does not base that on performance.
Maybe if we can remind ourselves of this, we can ease up on expecting so much out of our children (and ourselves) and let them be free to make mistakes and learn in life. God’s love will be there as they do… every step of the way.
~Dionna Sanchez is Founder of the EmphasisOnMoms.com ministry. Visit today to sign up for her monthly publication full of encouragement for moms.