We live in a culture that's quick to point fingers, call out our faults, and gasp in horror at each other's failures. And as parents, we are easy targets, are we not? Have you ever pretended not to look at the young mom struggling with her toddler at Target? What about that time you wrestled with your thoughts after overhearing about your neighbor's teenage daughter who...?
It's easy to fall into the trap of shaming (even if it's just in our heads) those around us who've experienced "failure". So... bringing it closer to home... what about when it's our own kid who's made a poor choice? Shame-free parenting is a two-way street. And we need to pay attention to how we treat ourselves AND our kids when failures occur. Which they most certainly will.
First off, nothing is off the table. Our kids have to feel like they can come to us with anything, no matter how big or small. Allow for open dialog in your home. If you have young kids you can start today and set a firm foundation as they transition into the teen years and adulthood.
If you have older kids, it may be a bit more challenging to get the conversation going, but it can be done! Even when it comes to tough and touchy conversations, by the grace of God, you can start a healthy and productive conversation that allows them to express themselves.
Second, grace is the key to everything. God’s grace has been extended to us as parents, and we, in turn, must shower our kids with grace. This means creating a judgment-free zone where no topic is off-limits and where our kids know that they are loved and supported regardless of what they are struggling with. Having received grace, we must extend grace.
Third, as parents, we can’t afford to beat ourselves up. We are going to blow it - no matter who you are. Asking for forgiveness from our kids is a great way to model humility when things don’t go well. In most cases, kids can be quick to forgive and actually extend grace back to us as parents. Combine these actions together and live in the freedom of shame-free parenting.
Let's put this into practice:
Source: Axis - https://axis.org/