Ever argue with your kids? Ever get really angry over something they’ve done? Of course you work through it in some way. You have to, but it isn’t always easy. I wish there was a magic pill to reset everything to right. But that’s really my pride talking.
Kids are kids. They just are. Even when they are our grown up kids, they expect us to be even more grown up. So offering the silent treatment or pretending yesterday’s offenses didn’t happen don’t help at all. They don’t learn how to properly put a problem to rest. They certainly don’t learn the process of forgiving and being forgiven.
Instead they learn to stuff, pretend, and move on in immaturity. We have to make the first step.
Age is irrelevant here. Whether our kids are 5 or 25, we need to make the first move. Don’t let all that awkward and discomfort at the idea of confrontation get in the way of that. Between you and that little kiddo that you love so much and who depends on you to be the bigger man, or mamma. Be willing to speak the first word.
Once everyone has calmed down, and this piece is vital, go to your kiddo. Say what needs saying, Begin with, “Can we talk.” and end with, “I love you.” In the middle you may want to give boundaries. Speak expectations. Address what was wrong and right-on both of your counts. Talk about who was affected by their choices. What led to that choice? What should they do differently next time?
And then forgive. Sometimes we only have to forgive them, but sometimes we have to be forgiven, especially if we have spent more of our minutes being offended that our kids aren’t living up to our whackadoodle ideal dream kid. When maybe we are more embarrassed to admit their behavior than we are about teaching them in love and humility.
If we want our kids to grow in maturity and sustain healthy relationships, we need to start this early and be consistent. Love first and love most.
Lord, make me better at this. Help me love my kids first and love them well.