I know every one of us has the best of intentions when it comes to parenting. We are all trying to raise these kids and the everyday mess of life, the often-times overwhelmingness of rearing a young one, molding their minds and hearts…can be…exhausting. I have written many times about different character traits we need to work on as parents and hopefully you have learned to honestly evaluate regularly the things you need to work on with your kiddos. There is honestly, never a day that goes by where I do not see 47 things that I need to work on in my own children. There is… a lot. After 20 years of this job, I have come to realize that, in fact, rare is the day that goes by without me thinking before bed, “Man, I really gotta work on….” fill in the blank with half a dozen kids names and three times as many issues.
But this too can be a bit of a challenge if not kept in check.
You see, I don’t want to be the “Fault Finding” Parent.
I think that “fault finding” parents begin with the best of intentions.
They want to work earnestly and diligently at tackling all kinds of challenges they see in junior. They want him to grow up to be a mighty man of God. And he will. In about 18-20 years. In the meantime, he is going to be a baby. A messy, loud, sleepless baby. And then he is going to be a messier, louder, more challenging toddler. He will be a little boy…a rambunctious, eager, mile-a-minute boy. And after that he will grow into an awkward pre-teen…with strange mannerisms and often drift into laziness and irresponsibility. And then, the rubber meets the road as a teen, while you coach him through the different pitfalls and relationships he struggles through. Fault finding parents generally characterize their children by their struggles or challenges…”Well, Johnny is just such a spaz…” “Suzy is so HIGH DRAMA!” “My little boy is just INTO EVERYTHING!”
All they talk about are the complaints of their children, never the strengths or their abilities.
And you will know you are definitely NOT a fault finder when you use their most challenging characteristic in a positive way. “I know that Suzy can be a challenge in the classroom sometimes, but she is a leader and has strong opinions. If we can continue to focus on training her how and when to share them wisely, we’ll have a world-changer on our hands.” “I need to find a sport Johnny will enjoy. He has so much energy; I am sure he would be a real asset to a team!”
But if you see the goal of parenting as striving to keep him from sinning, as constantly pointing out faults or looking to always correct him, you will drive him far from you. He will see you as someone who can not just LOVE him…pimples, awkwardness and loudness included. In short, you have a child. And children ARE CHILDREN.
Not mini-adults. They compete for who can get to the door the quickest. They argue about silly stuff. They have to mature. And sometimes maturity is a training issue but lots of times it is an age issue! So enjoy their youth! Take parenting seriously, but not so seriously that you can not laugh at it! Not so seriously that you drive your children batty with all your “fault finding” and not enough love, encouragement, and understanding. You have 20+ years to finish this job. And you need to ENJOY every minute of it because it goes by WAY to fast.