Talk about REGRET… When I heard my four-year-old daughter say, Mommy, I know you can’t wait until we are grown so you can do whatever you want. I knew I was giving her the impression she was an imposition on my life!
The words of my four-year-old daughter still ring in my ears. I had no idea the impression my harried, stressed-out life was imprinting on my kids.
When my children were young, over and over again I would resolve to be a better mom. I’d tell myself, I won’t raise my voice. I won’t snap at my kids. I will be calm and kind.
However, my resolve to do better would inevitably get lost somewhere between the monotony of motherhood and the piles of laundry. Can you relate? So what’s a mom to do? I knew I had to make some changes, or I would regret it.
Here are some changes I made that transformed my parenting–and I believe they can help you as well:
3 STEPS TO PARENTING WITH NO REGRETS:
1. Stop Promising to do Better: Stop beating yourself up by making internal promises that are impossible to keep.
Determine to create realistic opportunities for long-term change. Decide on two things you would like to change about the way you parent. Then do the following:
-Find a Scripture in the Bible that speaks to this change and memorize that verse. The Bible says,
Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105).
Use the light of Scripture to light your way toward becoming the mom you want to be.
-Pray. God’s Word says, You have not because you ask not (James 4:2).
Don’t let this be said of you. Ask God to show you daily how to love Him properly through–His Word, prayer, and fellowship with other believers–so that His love will wash over you, and transform the way you parent your children.
2. Create an Environment for Your Kids to Fail: Contrary to what you may believe, it is not your job to keep your kids so sheltered from wrong that they leave your home unscathed by consequences for bad behavior.
We are not trying to raise perfect children. We are trying to raise kids who know how to recover from their mistakes. Helping your son or daughter learn how to recover from a difficult situation is one of the most important skills a mother can teach.
In my book Moms Raising Sons to Be Men I help moms discover how even video games can be employed as a resource to train your kids toward autonomy.
3. Put Away People-Pleasing: Learn how to break free from the internal people-pleasing thoughts that plague most moms.
Stop being your own worst critic. God says in Isaiah 43:7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory.
To glorify God means to magnify, or make great our God. Believers are called to live in a manner that reflects the character of God so that others–even our children–will have an appetite to know Christ.
All too often we are glory stealers. As moms we say things like, “You can’t wear that, what will the people at church think?” and “You need to do better in school, what must your teacher think?” What we mean is “…of me. What will they think of me?”
Mom, when you learn that the most important One to please in life is Christ, and that learning to delight in His Character is the priority of your life, you will be set free from people pleasing.
Living to reflect the glory of the One who has saved you, rather than concerned over the impression you, and your children, are leaving on those around you will be the most liberating experience of your life!
And in so doing you will liberate your children from having to perform well–so that you are affirmed by your peers.
Mom, you are the architect of the next generation. A noble calling ordained by God. You are not alone. He says to you:
FEAR NOT, for I am with you;
BE NOT DISMAYED, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
– Isaiah 41:10
Prayer and studying God’s Word is key to parenting with NO REGRETS. You only get one shot at this parenting thing. So ask God to help you not waste the few short years He has given you to train your children.
The prayer of my heart as a mom comes from a Scripture I memorized long ago while my kids were small:
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12).
Stop promising to do better–create an environment for your kids to learn how to recover from mistakes–and put away people pleasing. Will you apply these 3 steps to your parenting?
Remember to daily look to God for His help in raising your children. After all; He who began the good work in you, will bring it to completion (Philippians 1:6).
If you apply God’s wisdom to your parenting, you may–as I do–look back one day and say “God helped me parent with no regrets!”
Read more parenting advice by Rhonda Stoppe in 7 Insights to Help Your Kids Follow God’s Plan for Their Lives