We make mistakes; some are big ones- the kind that stop you in your tracks. Parenting missteps are unavoidable. There is no perfect parenting. The success of parenting, I'm learning (painfully slow I might add), is more about our response to our parenting missteps.
My missteps range from not providing clean matching socks to allowing my children unnecessary exposure to the ungodly to downright being a fire-breathing dragon. The mistakes are varied and great in number, but my response is typically one of the following.
1. Groan in guilt I focus on how I've messed up "this time", but I also replay each and every past parenting failure over and over....and over.
2. Dissolve into despair I consider how I might just have ruined the forever happiness of my children. I lament at how I've led them on a path leading to anything but a bright or right future.
3. Ignore... Some of my mistakes seem too hard to fix. They're too daunting to even think about......... So I don't.
4.* Fix one misstep with another I can't count the dollars and time spent trying to pay for my mistakes. An apology given or an ice cream date as an offering to my mess-up is fine. However it's not a fix on its own; especially if it's accompanied by #1, #2 or #3.
These are unhealthy responses rather than a course of action. By only wallowing in guilt and despair, by remaining in purposed oblivion, NOTHING WILL CHANGE. It's as if I'm staying right where I've fallen. My smart husband and I recently gave myself a pep talk. I was reminded that the greatest guiding force in my parenting will be prayer. Three other things I'm determined to remember?
Wallowing is doing nothing.
It's not too late to do what I can do today.
It's too early to worry about tomorrow.
Parent shoes are big shoes to fill. Thankfully we have a God that fills the spaces and forgives our falls.
What is your default response to a misstep?