You would think that a Dad of five (5) kids might have a lot to say about parenting. Yet it’s not a usual blog topic of mine. But to sum up all my wisdom on it: parenting is hard. Surprise! Yeah, most people know that already. Raising kids is a challenge. I’ve been trying to figure out parenting and practice it for over a decade. But it’s not my “passion” or my hobby. It’s work, and I’ve got to work at it.
I don’t think I have many victories to speak of in the fight to survive the daily grind of child rearing. I’m not even talking about problems. The little everyday normal things can wear you out. Constant piles of dishes and laundry to clean, messy rooms, missing socks and shoes, sibling rivalry, picky eaters at every meal, constant need for attention, disciplining, etc.
To cope, it’s tempting to coast through parenting whenever possible. Often, that means turning on a screen. Tablets, Nintendos, Computers, TV. But of course, that’s not always a good thing.
For me, as a Dad, I can tell you what is the hardest thing about parenting: admitting to my kids when I make a mistake! Oh, it is a hard pill to swallow. You know, humble pie.
In my pride as “World’s Greatest Dad” two years straight (I had the T-shirts to prove it!), showing humility in front of my five sons just stops me in my tracks. For example, when I sense the need to apologize for being too harsh in my discipline, a struggle happens inside me. I’m the big strong smart dad, how can I show a sign of weakness?
I am supposed to correct my sons when they are wrong. That seems to imply that I am always right, which of course is ridiculous. But how can I correct myself in front of my kids when I am wrong!? The corrector can’t be incorrect! Right? Sometimes I “overcorrect.”
There’s been times when, after overcorrecting my kids, I had to correct myself to them. Thankfully, when I struggle to swallow my pride, I don’t choke or gag even though it feels awkward. I show a bit of a vulnerable side of my Dad-ness to my kids. It makes me feel better in the end because my relationship with my kids stays healthy.
Usually, I can only humble myself if I ask for help. I’ll say like a feeble quick prayer to God. And sometimes I’ll talk to my wife to get her input and help me process what’s up.
A negative voice can come on inside your head and tell you that you are a bad parent and that you will never be a good enough parent, so don’t bother even trying. Let me tell you, however convincing or repetitive that voice is, those are lies! Do not listen to them!
I believe God wants parents to, get this, be good parents!
And I believe that asking God for help in parenting is necessary. Most of all, I am thankful that God is gracious, because he forgives my parenting mistakes.
As hard as parenting can be, it is also rewarding and worth the effort to get it as right as you possibly can. You won’t get it perfect, and that’s perfectly okay!
If you’re a struggling parent, be encouraged. You’re not alone.
Have you ever had to admit any parenting mistakes? Have any advice? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks.