Last night, my family attended a Christmas party at the gym where one of my sons is on a Gymnastics Team. We were in a giant gymnastics facility that had been redecorated with tables, food, gifts and holiday decor. Even though there were scores of hyper kids in the place, it seemed to me like our four boys were acting the worst. I was convincing myself that all eyes were on our kids and we were being silently judged by everyone in the room. My exhaustion and frustration caused me to look at the situation through a distorted lens and to believe some lies in my mind that weren’t really true.
As parents, I believe we all have to fight the temptation to believe negative myths and discouraging self-talk. Among the most common lies we parents choose to believe are the four below.
In no particular order…
1. Other parents are doing a MUCH better job than me.
We all get tempted to play the comparison trap game where we compare our behind-the-scenes moments of chaos to our friends’ highlight reels on social media. When we play the comparison game, we always lose. We’ll either feel conceited or we’ll feel defeated. The truth is, EVERY parent has some struggles (including you and me). Don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect. Our kids don’t need our perfection; they need our presence.
2. I’ve permanently messed my kids up already.
If you’re concerned enough to even have a thought like that, then you’re much better parent than your’e giving yourself credit for. When you’ve blown it as a parent, admit fault and work to correct the issue moving forward, but don’t live with the lie that you’ve permanently messed up your kids. We have a responsibility to our kids to love them and train them and provide for them, but sometimes, they’re going to make poor choices even when you’ve done everything possible to teach them right. Their bad choices don’t always a reflection of your parenting. Think about it this way, God is the the ONLY perfect parent, and his kids (us) can still make some really bad choices!
For encouragement, Biblical truths and practical tools to help you build a stronger family, check out my new book The Seven Laws of Love: Essential Principles for Building Stronger Relationships (by clicking here).
3. “Quality time” is better than quantity time.
Kids measure love by our time and since time is the “currency of relationships” the only way we can invest into our relationships with our kids is to make time with them a priority. “Quality time” is a myth, because ALL time has the same quality. Yes, we need to be fully focused and engaged as much as possible when we’re with our kids, but you can’t plan for those “quality” moments. They usually happen unexpectedly and you have to be present as often as you can to experience them. Planning big, one-time experiences is nice, but those can’t take the place of our daily interactions.
4. I’m not giving my kids a good childhood.
Maybe you can’t afford to buy them all the latest “junk” and maybe you feel like you’ve failed them in other areas, but if you love them, you’re giving your kids the most important ingredient to a happy healthy childhood. Many of the things that seem like a “crisis” in this season of life, will become a funny memory later in life. Your kids will remember your love, your concern and they’ll look back with a lot of fondness on their childhood. For more on this, check out my popular post on The 5 things your kids will remember about you.
For more tips and tools to help you build a rock-solid family, check out my new book The 7 Laws of Love: Essential Principles for Building Stronger Relationships