Friday, May 9, 2014

Striving To Be a A+ Parent

There is an article that I read the other day called "The B Plus Parent:5 Perfectly Acceptable Reasons to Shout at Your Kids." You can read it here. It talks about why it is ok to be a B+ parent. It says that it's fine to strive to be a B+ parent because if you strive to be an A+ parent you will fail and then feel like a failure. It makes the argument that a B+ is a passing grade and beside that those who got A+ grades in school had to study all the time and had no fun. So, just be a B+ parent, have your own life too and you'll be happy and wont feel like a failure.

The article opens with this paragraph "The problem with pretty much every parenting philosophy is that they expect you to be a perfect parent. Always do what’s best for your kids, no matter what the effect on you, your wallet or your mental health. And in striving for an A-plus, most of us end up feeling like failures."

If you know me at all, then you know that I don't agree with this advice at all.

I get what the article is trying to say. It's saying that since we can not be perfect parents then we shouldn't try, because who wants to feel like a failure, right? The article talks about why it's ok to yell at our kids in this culture of no yelling.  I think yelling has become the new hot topic in parenting.

I totally get that we can not be perfect parents all the time (shish, my one year old just fell off the changing table right in front of me and needed to get 4 stiches!). There is only one perfect parent and that is our Father. But, just because we can not be a perfect A+ parent, does that mean we shouldn't even try?

Here is my totally unsolicited advice.

1. Stop it.

Stop calling yourself a failure. Stop it.

You didn't make the pinterest craft you pinned 3 weeks ago.
Your 4 year old can't read yet.
Your house is a mess (duh!)
Your kids just ate PB&J for dinner for the 5th day in a row.

Are your kids fed and breathing?
Yes? Awesome, call it a success!

Seriously though.

Lets start speaking truth to each other and to ourselves. I have been working on this this year. I am really good at encouraging my friends, but I am even better at beating my self up! If my friend calls and tells me about the rotten, awful, no good day she just had with her kids, I would tell her that she is just fine. I would tell her that we all have bad days. We all make mistakes. But, she is a good mom who loves her kids and that is what matters! So why then would I turn around and tell myself I am a failure in the same situation? Truth is the same forwards and backwards. If it's true for her then it's true for me (and for you)!!

If you don't want to feel like a failure then stop telling yourself you are a failure!    

2. If I strive to be a B+ parent, then that's all I will ever be.

Sure, we will never be perfect. But, if we don't even strive for perfection then how could we get even remotely close?

There will be days where we yell too much. Days where we over correct or under correct. Days where the toddler watches TV all day long because we just-don't-have-it-in-us. But these days shouldn't be the norm.

The norm should be us, as parents, striving to be like Jesus. We should try each day to do better then the day before. Some days we wont. Some days will be worse. That doesn't mean we failed- it means we get to try again tomorrow (or after nap time if it's still early!).

3. I set the example for who my kids might become.

I want to be great things, but even more I want my kids to be great! I want them to do great things! If I am setting the standard that being mediocre is the goal, how in the world could they be great? Lets give our kids a fighting chance to be the best they can be. We get to help shape who they become! Lets shape them into something great!!

4. Where I fall Short, Jesus fills in.

Look, we don't have to be perfect. No one expects us to be perfect. God knows that we aren't perfect.
Were we mess up, Jesus cleans up!
It's really just that simple.

5. My own life? They are my life!

The article says that we should be B+ parents because then we get to have our own life too. This just baffles me. My own life? My kids, my family, are my life. Don't get me wrong, I do things I love and that are for me, but they are not separate from my family. I want to run? I take them along. And guess what, it's fun! We don't have to have a separate life from our kids to have fun! Obviously, there are days that I want time to myself, and that's ok! When I feel that way, I take the time. But again, it's not the norm. The normal day for us is our family spending time together.

We should do what's best for our kids. We should sacrifice and make tough, hard to make, unselfish decisions for our kids. That's just motherhood.

When faced with a choice or decision I like to think of what I will say on my death bed. Will I say, "I am so glad that I strived to be a B+ parent. I am so glad I had 'my own life'." Or will I say, "I am glad I did the absolute best that I could do. I am glad that I strived to be a A+ parent."

Grace to you mama. You aren't perfect, but you are doing a wonderful job!

Eyes on Jesus.
Where you mess up, He will clean up.

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