Have you ever felt like your parenting skills were on the edge of a cliff? On the edge of losing your sanity? That all it will take to throw you off the cliff of insanity would be just one more issue or one more dramatic tantrum? Welcome to life. Welcome to being normal. Parenting is one of the greatest adventures God has given me and my wife, but with most adventures, there are many detours and many road blocks. These detours and roadblocks can be anything from health issues (which are paralyzingly scary), tantrums, dramatic attitudes, and on and on I could go.
Yet, I suggest that these detours are likely there to develop you as a parent. Yes, these roadblocks are teaching moments for the child, but perhaps they are lessons to be learned for you while your life is hanging off of the parental cliff of insanity. Now, I have learned that when I am parenting on the edge of my personal insanity, I likely don’t see it as a teaching moment for me. I see it as a “I’m going to whoop your *** if you don’t straighten up” moment. (*** denotes a word I don’t use to around my children but for dramatic effects for the sake of this blog.)
Here’s what I believe I’m being taught when my children are driving me near the cliff:
- I don’t need to go crazy on them for every mistake they make. (Stop being the helicopter parent and let them breath.)
- I’m not their dictator or best friend, I’m their parent. (Which means I need to provide consistent discipline and love.)
- Even though I just said that it’s okay for them to make mistakes, be careful not to let them fall off the cliff of life. Heed the warning sign and control your children.
The truth is that you are going to fall off the cliff. But don’t worry – if you do happen to fall off the cliff and go nuts on your children, it doesn’t disqualify you as a parent. In fact, you’re perfectly normal. Don’t be too hard on yourself. We all do it. Your child will be okay. Furthermore, that is the perfect time to teach your children the art of apologizing. Yep, that’s right – when you fall off the deep end, go apologize to your child. Their response may be, “huh…whatcha say?” But you are teaching them the Gospel in action.
The parental cliff is dangerous, but it’s not the end. So breath – your children are ultimately in God’s hands.