I realized something the other day. I realized that I should stop reading stories to my kids. I should also stop letting them watch Disney movies and PBS cartoons.
Why would I do such a thing? It’s great to read stories to your kids. It helps to teach them how to read. And Disney and PBS put out great educational programming. And lets not forget that letting them watch a show is the best way to distract my two boys while I try and get something done.
There are side effects to letting my kids watch shows. They see not only the kids in those shows, but also the adults. They see all the perfect moms and dads who never blow up at their kids. The ones able to laugh off every little mistake. The ones that are never tired, angry, hurt or lonely. My kids see an idyllic world where nothing ever goes wrong. They see a certain curious monkey get into mischeif yet never have to reap the consequences.
I think this all hit me when we were going thru potty training with our oldest son. I would get so mad when things did not go well. As in we had done our business every where except the potty. And I was out of carpet cleaner. I will admit here that I would completely lose my cool. Not just in an exasperated sigh kind of way. It was more along the lines of screaming. And then I would calm down and feel immediate guilt for my blow up. Apologize and set my mind to doing it the right way. The way those potty training books told me to. Reading those books always reminded me of how poorly I was doing at this mothering job.
Then one day, my mom and I were on the phone. I was yet again confessing my hatefulness. And she was comforting me with kind words and scripture. She told me that God had created me in His image and that He had given me these two boys. That my husband and I were their parents for a reason. That I was the best one for the job of raising them.
I should remember that those parents on the screen and in the books aren’t real. They are fictional. And that it’s only the enemy telling me that I am the only one that messes up. That no one but me gets angry or exasperated with my kids. I knew all of that in my head. But in my heart I needed to hear that truth.
I am the best parent for my kids. And you are the best parent for yours. Even though I make mistakes still, I can use those times to teach my kids about forgiveness. About receiving grace and mercy. Those things are there for you as well. You need only to ask, and Christ will come and extend His grace, mercy and unconditional love to you.
Walking forward in His grace and mercy.
P.S. I am not really going to stop reading books to my kids or stop letting them watch television. I need at lease some peace and quiet. :)