Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I'm Not a Perfect Parent

I'm having one of those weeks where I feel like a complete failure as a parent. You know the weeks, where you make these major mistakes that feel like the end of the world. I sat on the couch in tears last night because I was pretty positive I scarred a child's soul for life.

But you know what? Kids are resilient. I think we as parents often beat ourselves up over our failures far more than our kids actually feel them. Because here is the truth: I love my kids. I feed them, clothe them, show them I love them. A bad parent is someone who abuses, belittles, persecutes, or neglects their children. Parents who love their kids enough to be honest about their mistakes, cry over those precious souls, and ask for help are not bad parents.

There's a concept in counseling called the "good enough parent". I wasn't a parent in grad school, but I remember loving this term when I came across it. Studies have shown that parents do not have to be amazing to produce amazing kids, they just have to be good enough. Good enough means loving, caring for, disciplining, and doing our best, even though we won't always do the right thing.

So keep reading those parenting books. Keep working on yourself, growing in kindness, grace, and gentleness with your kids. But also remember that you don't have to be a perfect parent. Be good enough for your kids, and point them to Jesus for the perfect part.

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