I remember when my oldest son came home with a bad grade on his report card. It was an opportunity to help him see that failure is never final. I could have spoken life into his crushed self-image and taught him that failure does not define him. The grade was just an indication that he needed a little help, not an indictment on his intelligence or his willingness to learn.
He was in 5th grade and he just needed some help.
But I blew it.
Have you ever been there and done that?
It’s not always easy to get it right. Moms aren’t perfect people who always do the right things and say the right things at just the right time. We don’t have halos hovering over our heads with light beams shining down on us. We’re flawed and fallible. We know what it’s like to be weary, worn out and overwhelmed. We all understand what it’s like to be broken, battered and busy.
We all blow it.
So, how can a mom regain ground in her child’s heart when she’s left him wounded by her words? What can a mom do to bring healing to her child’s hurting heart when she’s the one who has caused or intensified the pain?
Today, The M.O.M. Initiative wants to offer 10 tips for moms who have blown it:
1. Confess your faults. James 5:16 tells us to confess our faults that we may be healed. Confession brings healing to the heart of the one who committed the offense and your children need to know that. When you confess your faults, you teach them that there are no perfect people and that whenever they mess up that confession is an important part of healing for the relationship and for healing the hearts of all involved.
2. Ask for your children’s forgiveness. When you do, you’re not only humbling yourself to admit you’ve done wrong, but you’re also teaching them how to ask for forgiveness when they blow it too.
3. Distinguish your behavior. Christians have the opportunity to chose to walk in the spirit or in the flesh. When we blow it, our flesh is obviously large and in charge. Distinguishing the dichotomy of the spirit and the flesh helps our children not only understand why mom sometimes falls apart and other times seems to be like Mount Rushmore, but it also gives them a preview of the battle they will face when they become a Christian and how they can win the war between the flesh and the spirit… and what to do when they don’t.
4. Give yourself the grace to fail. With little hearts on the line, we often have a hard time forgiving ourselves when we’ve blown it with our kids. But it’s important to know the only perfect parent is our Heavenly Father. We fail. We fall. But when we do, we need to get back up knowing that EVERY other parent on the planet has failed too.
5. Talk about alternatives. When you’ve had a meltdown moment with your children it’s a good opportunity to talk about the different approaches you could have/ should have had in that situation. Every time you talk about the alternate actions you could have had, you are arming your children with appropriate responses for their own future battles with their flesh.
6. Replace the negative with plenty of positives. It has been said that it takes five positive comments to begin to outweigh the negative ones. Look for ways to consistently speak words of affirmation to your children and speak life into their hearts. Replace words that hurt with words that will heal.
7. Listen. Sometimes you speak louder when you listen than you do when you talk. When you blow it with your children, they need to be able to share what they are thinking or feeling. When you listen, you lay the foundation for feelings of freedom in future conversations.
8. Don’t call yourself names. Don’t call yourself names that you don’t want your children to think about themselves. When you blow and you say, “I’m SO sorry. Mommy was really stupid to say that.” you’re feeding the thought that every time they say something they shouldn’t they’re stupid. Admit you were wrong but avoid name calling…even in relation to yourself.
9. Redo. After confessing and asking for forgiveness, tell your child you want to redo your response. Then begin to respond the way you should have in the beginning. By doing so, you teach them that there is such a thing as a second chance… that when we blow it, we can go back and get it right.
10. Love them well. The Bible tells us love covers a multitude of sins. That includes your sin. Look for ways to love them by spending some time doing what’s important to them. The number one need children have is not for more stuff and not even for the perfect mom, but for the mom they have to spend some quality time with them.
It breaks our hearts to break theirs, but the truth is we all blow it. We don’t always do Mom right. But when we mess up, we also can use our failures as an opportunity to teach our children how to respond when the fail.
What would you add to this list? How do you handle it when you blow it?