I have most of "When Parenting Isn't Perfect" by Jim Daly highlighted and notes in the sidebars. I had my heart opened to much of my parenting faults - looking for achievement, not character. How often do I get so angry with my boys when they misbehave in the grocery store (every time) instead of realizing they are little boys running a super boring errand and are trying to entertain themselves instead of thinking they are being rude - that's not their heart intent at all! They may not be thinking of others around them (including their mom) but not with bad intent. They aren't necessarily being selfish but just don't really have the immaturity to think outside of themselves all the time. Daly says, "We've somehow convinced ourselves that how we present ourselves outwardly, how close we can appear to approach perfection, is far more important than what's really going on. That's pretty rich, considering that Jesus taught us exactly the opposite."
"God doesn't expect perfection from our families. And neither should we." But so often I do, don't you? Please say I'm not alone in this! I love my kids...but I think I've turned my thoughts of perfection into an idol of perfection (pg 41 of the book). I need to put aside that idol and embrace the beautiful mess of a family that my family is, that I am.
I've been learning to be present, in their worlds (not my world of cleaning and cooking and dinking around on Facebook), laughing with them (we enjoy America's Funniest Videos together, knock knock jokes, and laughing when faces get frozen in weird positions on "pause"), to actually practice the Golden Rule (how can I expect them to talk to me with respect if I talk so rudely to them sometimes?), to be consistent (rather than letting my emotions dictate), to be their role model (I have a very observant little girl who picks up on words...need to watch my tongue), to use my time wisely (which is why I write this during nap time), and to talk even when it's difficult (using kind words, not arguments or yelling).
|my beautiful lounging kids|
Not many, I imagine. In fact, I bet that lectures - ones we've given, ones we've received - often are the very things we'd most like to forget."
|my baby birds|
Disclaimer: I received this book in order to write an honest review. All opinions are my own. Others' opinions may differ.