01 Feb Becoming a better parent: Parents, it’s ok to . . .
Our Westview team member, Terry Owens, continues our series, Becoming a Better Parent. In this article, Terry encourages us that “Parents, it’s ok to . . .”
Over the last year, we have talked about how being connected with our children helps maintain a strong, healthy relationship. Through relationships, we can help our children make better choices during difficult times.
Our relationship with our children is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of our lives. Becoming a parent was one of the best things to happen in my life, but being a parent is difficult. We get tired, which can lead us to make poor choices when it comes to disciplining our children.
We will make mistakes and that is ok. Often we as parents feel that we have fallen short of the expectations we have set for ourselves as parents. How can we deal with this? To answer this question, I want to share the “Parents it’s ok to . . .” memes that were published on Facebook by our friends at Empowered to Connect (empoweredtoconnect.org). I want to dig a little deeper into each one of these sayings and show how important it is for us to remember them.
Parents, it’s ok to have feelings . . .
We have big feelings, like being loving, sad, angry, happy, and joyful. Our children are going to have big feelings, too, and their feelings can cause us to have big feelings. When my children made bad choices, I know I felt angry and didn’t always handle that emotion well. You, too, are going to have big feelings and you’ll mishandle those feelings from time to time. It’s ok to have big feelings as a parent and you don’t need to stay angry at yourself. So . . .
Parents, it’s ok to forgive yourself . . .
When we make poor choices that negatively affect our connection with our child, we do tend to beat ourselves up. Instead, we need to reach out to our child and tell them were wrong in how we handled the situation. We should ask for their forgiveness. Then, we need to forgive ourselves and learn from our experiences. Admitting to our children and ourselves that we were wrong and we should have handled the situation differently is very difficult. Remember, though, that we are called to forgive others and that it’s ok to ask for forgiveness. So, we need to forgive ourselves as well. It will empower our growth as parents. If we live in that world of regret, we will challenge our ability to parent well. If your child will forgive you, you should forgive yourself. That’s why . . .
Parents, it’s ok to show yourself compassion . . .
To move on from our mistakes and guilt, we need to show ourselves compassion. One can comfort one’s self by eating something healthy. Or, you can massage your neck, hands, or feet. Go for a walk, do yoga, stretches, or any physical activity you enjoy doing. Caring for your body will improve how you feel and one way to show yourself compassion. Take the time to sit down and write a letter about the situation. Describe the event without placing blame on anyone, including yourself. This will allow you to reflect on the feelings you felt then and help you nurture your feelings afterward. Encourage yourself. Think of an encouraging statement that you would say to a friend or loved one in similar circumstances. When you face a difficult situation, direct a compassionate response to yourself. Take time for yourself by meditating or deep breathing; this will bring nurture and acceptance during times of stress.
We all have feelings and how we chose to react to those feelings is important. I hope that this series of articles will help you have peace with your self and grow as a parent. God bless you and your families. If we can answer any questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.