I have a child whose mess has literally brought me to tears. True story. One time, I sent her to clean her room, and hours later, when I went to check on her progress, she had put maybe a single sock away. I was furious! I felt my anger and blood pressure rise like lava in a volcano and I told her—well, I yelled—“I’m coming in here with trash bags, and I (emphasis on the “I”) will clean your room, so say goodbye to half your things!” She started crying and pleading with me. Eventually, I started crying too. Why did I let something like a messy room steal my peace and hers? My kids are normally good at keeping the house clean, so I realized I probably could cut them some slack on their rooms and try parenting with grace.
While I’m ashamed to say I have had many explosive moments with my kids, at some point, I turned the corner and those moments are now few and far between. As I’ve grown as a parent, I’ve discovered 4 ways to cut my kids some slack. And parenting with grace has resulted in a calmer me and a more peaceful home.

1. I treat them like I want to be treated.
We all mess up. If you’re at work and make a mistake, you wouldn’t want your boss to come in and yell at you. You also wouldn’t want your kids’ teachers to yell at them for making a mistake on an assignment or having a messy desk. So before you correct your kids, take a moment to think and cool off. Consider how the words you’re about to say would feel if they were directed at you. Remember they’re children and they’re still learning how to manage their time, spaces, and lives.

2. I offer to help them.
Just this week, I noticed my daughter getting up extra early to scramble to finish a project she had forgotten was due that day. I resented the fact that she had left it for the last minute and considered letting her deal with the consequences of her procrastination. Then I thought about how she’s normally responsible and this type of mistake is not in her character, so I put frustration aside and offered to help her. Bailing our kids out of every mistake won’t help them become responsible adults, but occasionally lending a hand when they’re in an uncharacteristic bind sends them the message that they can always count on our help no matter what the situation is.

3. I talk to them like I would talk to a friend.
If your best friend came to visit and she spilled coffee on your sofa, you wouldn’t yell, “Look what you did! Why are you such a mess?” No, you would say, “Oh, it’s just a couch!” and you would grab some paper towels and come to the rescue. Parenting with grace means choosing kind words over harsh ones as often as possible.

Parenting with grace means choosing kind words over harsh ones as often as possible.

4. I try to practice patience and love.
When the pandemic started, I ordered LEGOs galore. LEGOs are great, right? Well, when my counter turned into Danville in the TriState Area, Phineas and Ferb’s city, those LEGOs became my nemesis! I wanted nothing more than to throw them in a box and take them to the nearest Goodwill. But every day, my girl would sit there and play for hours and that made my heart full. I would remember that every time I wanted my kitchen back to normal. After a few weeks, she lost interest and we took the small city down. I was able to enjoy my counter once again. Parenting with grace, patience, and love won that battle!
Do you have some moments when you are glad you cut your kids some slack?

ASK YOUR CHILD…
When is a time you thought I would get mad but I didn’t?

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By Imom


ASK YOUR CHILD... When is a time you thought I would get mad but I didn’t?

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