I have heard that you can’t be a friend to your child? Is that really true? If it is, that is really sad to me. We must be the example and therefore we cannot risk the chance of becoming their buddies and put our authority at risk. So they say. Can we be their friend and their parent? Is there a way that if we acted like them we would have a better chance of reaching their hearts? I think the answer is right in the middle of yes and no.
Do I act like them when they are having a melt down?
Do I act like them when they are frustrated and may raise their voices?
Do I act like them when they are in trouble for being out of control, and in disciplining them I become out of control?
Do I act like them when they won’t go to bed and get a good night of rest?
Do I act like them when they are very petty and fussy over the littlest things?
Do I act like them and pout when I don’t get my way?
Do I act like them when I bully them?
Do I act like them when I don’t tell the exact truth?
Do I act like them when I am willing to argue with, be sarcastic to, and annoy them?
Do I act like them when I want my way right now regardless of anyone’s feelings?
Do I act like them when I choose to ignore rather than be bothered?
I don’t know about you, but I have found myself guilty in many of these areas. Oh, I always have an excuse about why my behavior is justified somehow, but I have no such grace for my kids. When they act like that, they get the “You know better than to act like that. I will not allow that in this house!” talk. Hmm….maybe this girl should be telling herself that same little speech!
I do not want my children to act in this list of ways. It is my job as Mom to mold their character and personalities in a productive way of kindness, compassion, love and grace. That is how God nurtures me up. It is also my job as Mom to make sure that I am not their stumbling block. I don’t want to– no I mustn’t– act like them if I want to reach their hearts and be the influence that I need to be.
Do I act like them when they offer forgiveness so easily?
Do I act like them when they show compassion for the smallest creatures?
Do I act like them when they marvel over rainbows and flowers?
Do I act like them and laugh freely and often?
Do I act like them and have fun and carefree days?
Do I act like them and pour out affection easily?
Do I act like them and see everything so black and white?
Do I act like them and enjoy innocence?
Do I act like them and have no prejudices?
Do I act like them and just enjoy our time together?
Do I act like them and keep a twinkle in my eye, a twirl in my step, and a song in my heart?
Do I act like them and have such a sweet and simple trust in Jesus?
If I could act like my children in this list of ways, I would be so happy with myself! If only adults could keep this list, we would live in a much sweeter world. If it is my job as Mom to mold them away from bad traits, it has been my privilege to have them mold me in these good ones.
As for me, I am a friend to my children and they are a friend to me. Sometimes I remind them to do right, and sometimes they remind me to do right. Sometimes I have to practice tough love with them, but because of them, I also have to practice tough love on myself!
Back to the original question…to act like them or not? I am afraid the answer is that I probably act like them more than I would like to confess. And I pray that I can add many of their precious traits to my own life.