I’ve had my share of meltdowns (mine, not the kids’) because things were not going my way. And, how often does it really go your way if you’re a mom? There will always be resistance no matter how old or how cute your kids are. But, there is a peaceful way to handle such situations. Sadly, I’ve sometimes opted for a different way.
So if you just went off on a screaming rampage as you ushered the kids to their rooms, how do you find yourself back into that sweet, loving relationship with them that you had just blogged about a few minutes ago?
It starts with you. You are the adult, so you ought to make the first step. Don’t let time heal the wounds. Don’t think that just because they have short attention spans that they will forget this incident. You need to go back to their rooms and ask each of them for forgiveness.* Why?
Because it is the first step in restoring your relationship.
Even if it began with your children’s disobedience, your wrong reactions to their behavior places a deeper wedge between you and them. I mean if you’re yelling at them, they are going to see you as unapproachable. And imagine how scary that must be, especially for a young child. All they want is to be able to hug Mommy again.
Because you should model forgiveness.
Fights between my children happen all the time. Once I get the story straight, I instruct the offending party to go to the offended and ask for forgiveness. This is not about saying a flippant “sorry”. It requires humility, acknowledging what you did wrong and expressing a desire to make things right. Gulp! No wonder this isn’t easy for anyone!
Though you’re regretting your wrong actions towards your children, don’t waste the opportunity that you now have to model for your child how to right a wrong.
Because you’re not perfect.
My daughter would sometimes tell me that she gets frustrated at herself when she gets angry at her brothers. Instead of looking down at her disapprovingly, I can lovingly come alongside her and say, “I get frustrated too when I get angry. But I can ask God to forgive me and help me change.”
Kids will see you mess up … it’s inevitable. But, they will also see how you handle those mess-ups. For me, I want my children to know Mommy isn’t perfect and to know the God who is.
What have you done to resolve conflicts with your children?
* Please know that I write this from experience. I’ve been there, yelling at my kids and then facing the task of piecing together what my anger has torn apart. I’m not suggesting that all moms have reacted this way, but I would venture to say that every mom has, at least once, wronged her child in some way. I just don’t want you to feel like I’m calling you out on a specific offense that you have never committed.
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