**Before I begin, this post in no way is saying you shouldn’t try your best! As you read, I hope you understand I’m not advocating that we try to make mistakes. But when we do fail, I think it’s important for our children to see how we cope and Who we rely on.**
One of the first lessons of parenting that you learn is that your idea of what a parent is drastically changes. Your goals and ideals suddenly change. The things you said you would never do or allow as a parent also change. Errands are more difficult, tasks take longer, and priorities change.
Obviously we want to be good parents for our children but sometimes our ideas of what makes a good parent are flawed. I've learned that being a good parent doesn't mean I'm good at everything. It doesn't mean I have to do everything for my children. When we look at other parents around us and we see what they are willing and able to do for their children, we might feel inadequate.
Just like comparing ourselves to others in other aspects of life is dangerous comparing our parenting to the parenting of others is equally treacherous. I'm afraid sometimes we want to be like other parents so much that we don't stop to ask why it's that important to us. I also think we are failing to teach our children an important lesson they need to learn.
Admitting we need help or are not perfect at something is difficult for some of us, especially when it is to our children. Just like it is difficult to apologize and ask our children for forgiveness, the discipline of letting our children see us fail sounds impossible. But consider this. If your children never see you struggle with something or never see you deal with disappointment in the correct way, how will they learn how to cope with disappointments and struggles in their own life? Children learn by example. They learn to talk, throw a ball, polite manners, kindness, etc. all by watching and listening to us.
Also if our children grow up believing we have everything in our life put together and perfect and we never struggled or learned hard lessons along the way, how comfortable do you think they will be with sharing their struggles with us? They will go to someone else for advice and for comfort because they might not believe we have any experience to offer them.
Part of living and growing in our Christian life is that it is not static, it is changing. God offers us his grace and faithfulness but if we don't show our children that we need it, they will grow up thinking they don't either.
In our culture it seems to be that any time we need help or fail at something we are told not to admit our weakness. We sweep it under the rug so to speak. We make excuses for why we didn't get that done or do this. However, Paul reminds us that it is through our very weaknesses that Christ gives strength. Sometimes the failing is in small things like messing up a recipe. Other times it might be bigger like breaking something that doesn't belong to us. Our attitude and actions following these types of failures communicates much to our children. The day we are too proud to admit our failings is the day we think we don't need the Lord.
Our children don't need to see us accomplish everything we desire, or perfectly execute something on the first try. They need to see us attempt things, maybe fail, yet get up and try again. They need to watch us depend on God's grace for everything just like we want them to. And they need to see us glorify God and praise him, even if life doesn’t go as planned.
Photo by Chuttersnap on Unsplash