Home is a place for healing.
This is one of the mantras I repeat to myself daily. I want my children to feel like our home is a safe place where they can work through their history of trauma. This past year we have created that space for our family. A space where they can make mistakes and still feel loved. A space where they feel respected even when they aren’t respectful. Because, ultimately, our children’s misbehavior is an opportunity.
You heard me… Misbehavior is an opportunity!
What will you make of that opportunity? Will you send a message of rejection and shame when they misbehave? Or will you allow them the opportunity to mess up and learn from their mistakes in a safe, loving environment?
As parents, we tend to take our children’s behavior personally. Sometimes we feel attacked, and our natural response is to fight back. This results in an ugly power struggle where the parent and child are opponents. When we stop and think about the messages we are sending our children in response to their misbehavior, it reveals our own heart.
Personally, I have struggled with the underlying belief that my children are my report card. I judged my own success or failure as a parent by my children’s behavior. I felt judged by others accordingly. Understand, friend, that when we put that undeserving pressure on our children, it poisons our relationship.
I also felt an enormous amount of pressure within the church to have children who appeared perfect and obedient. I heard the whispers condemning this family or that family by how their children “performed”. As a mom, I had a tendency to compare myself and my family with those around me, and I never felt adequate. To make matters worse, it was during our darkest moments, when one of our children was suffering with mental health issues that everyone abandoned him and our family.
In a way, I’m glad they did because the pressure was destroying us. What happened as a result freed us from the bondage of false beliefs. We found amazing resources many of which brought me back to my training and research I spoke of in “Part 1”. The one resource that has made the greatest impact on our family is Connected Families. Connected Families is Christ-centered, research-based and trauma-informed.
Dave and I completed the Discipline that Connects with Your Child’s Heart online course. We regularly listen to the Connected Families podcast. We continue to read their informative articles. We just can’t get enough! It is the Connected Families teaching that has revitalized and transformed our home.
Our family relationships (though not perfect) are far better than they’ve ever been. I value their teaching framework to the point that I am currently working on my certification to become a Connected Families Parent Coach. I am confident this is my purpose, for God to use me and this ministry to help other parents and families.
If you are a parent, you may want to evaluate your own convictions.
- Do you believe your children are your “report card”?
- What are the messages you send your child when you respond to misbehavior?
- Do you value obedience over connection?
- Is your home a place for healing?