While I’m not sure great is a category into which we should be putting kids, I get Donald Miller’s point. He wrote a really interesting blog post this week & it’s been helping me as I approach my kids. He wrote:
Secretly (until now), I’ve noticed a common theme amongst well-adjusted kids. The theme seems to be this: Great kids come from families in which parents are real about their shortcomings. They come from families who live and believe in grace.
I’ve also noticed the opposite. Many of my friends who’ve confessed to me they’ve had problems in life come from families in which parents (and mostly the Dad, honestly) have a hard time admitting they’re wrong. Often they come from religious families in which the parents felt they had to play a role model of perfection.Of course, there are many reasons kids struggle in life. But truthfully I’m not talking about kids. I’m talking about adults. People in their thirties and forties who come from grace-oriented families with parents who do not control with guilt and shame do better.
Well-adjusted people come from families who had parents who were honest about their mistakes and shortcomings, parents who were even humbly apologetic. Imagine having a dad who’d be willing to say something like, “You know, you get your temper from me. It’s one of the terrible things I’ve handed you. I’m so sorry about that. Here’s how I’ve learned to handle it. Let me know if you need help. I love you so much. Would hate for you to have to feel any pain on account of me.”
This is huge. I need to continue to develop the ability to just admit my wrongs, admit my faults, to catch myself in mid-stride in being a dumb-ass – a far to prevalent theme in my life – and just admit my own failure. I’m thankful that loving a child can call out the best in us. The stakes are really high.