Did I really say that?! Have you ever been embarrassed or ashamed of your child’s behavior? Have they begged, pleaded and cried for something in the grocery store or in the Mall? Has your child ever disrespected you in front of company? Or done some crazy thing like jump from the edge of the couch onto your visitor’s lap?
We expect small children to be a little, well..a little less graceful than older children don’t we? I mean they are growing and learning, right?! There are times however that our children just go a little crazy and we bow our heads in shame, shake our heads in embarrassment and think, “I must be doing something wrong!” or “I didn’t teach them that! What are they thinking??”
Recently one of our teens made a big boo boo. BIG (to us anyway)! It was definitely one of those embarrassing moments where you look at them in wonder and aww and say “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?”
As we have been working through this crazy incident, God has reminded us of 6 things we can do when our children embarrass us. I thought I would share them with you.
Get over it! Yes…get over it. Although we are a family unit and some things our children may do will embarrass us, it’s more about them learning and growing than our pride. Here is a little secret: just because your children make mistakes doesn’t mean you are a bad parent. It does mean that children have a sinful nature and will make mistakes and wrong choices. Big and small.
Don’t overreact. Did you ever think that the shock and horror we display “may” embarrass them also? Even a small child knows when they have done wrong. You mustn’t let your emotions carry you away and cause you to display unhealthy actions. I certainly wasn’t perfect in this latest episode, but I tried super hard not to lose it. I cried a lot, which was actually more grievous to our teen than any words I could have said.
Sometimes the consequences life hands our children are really enough. We want to exert our rights as a parent and bring the hammer down, but we need to think about the personality of our child. Sometimes they need a little “extra” punishment, depending on age and personality, but many times they do not.
I have always liked to believe that my children are smart enough to avoid making the same mistake again and accept what life has handed them and move on and learn. Our job is not to break the spirit of our child but to help it to grow and flourish… Yep even when BIG mistakes are made.
Get to the heart of the matter. When BIG things go wrong there is usually a reason. Only you can decide what that is for your own child. You know them better than anyone. Ask the Lord to show you something deeper about your child.
Go to the Word and seek out scripture for your child. Uplifting, loving scripture! They know their failure! Show them in God’s Word how much they are loved! Write it down for them, speak it to them. This helps us as a parent, just as much as it helps the child.
Forgive Them.. Yes, it’s super important for us as parents to forgive our children. We mustn’t harbor any unforgiveness in our hearts for mistakes our children have made.
I said to my teen “Do you know that you could never do anything that would make me stop loving you and that I forgive you.” Want to know what she said? “I know now!”
Wow! Wouldn’t you think your own flesh and blood would KNOW that? She does now!
Last thing…move on! Almost every day we are reminded of this big mistake that was made. We are refusing to let it get us down, set us back or drive us to despair. No! We will look to the Father and stand on His promises!
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who oved us.”
I learned long ago.. you can look back, but don’t stare. Life lessons are meant to move us forward and keep us bearing much fruit, not keep us stuck in the past.