Sunday, April 28, 2013

When Your Kids Are Mad At You

Being a parent takes a lot of heart. You have to be intentional and know where you want to go with your kids. You have to know what end results are important to you or you can feel like you’re in a current at times, being swept out into an open sea. And that never feels fun.

I want my kids to enjoy me. I want them to consider me a friend especially as they get older. But there are times when – let’s face it – they just aren’t very happy with me. Not only that, they are out and out ticked at me.  Maybe I deserve it. After all, I’m new at parenting. Each child has their own distinct personality, character traits and bent in life. With each child, we learn a new way of parenting. We have to parent each child in slightly unique ways from the other.  But sometimes I don’t deserve the anger poured out at me. And it can hurt.

Perspective has been one of the most important things I can fall on when I find myself the focus of one of my children’s anger. I need to step back and look at the situation in several ways. I need to look at it through their eyes, through my eyes, through God’s eyes, and then from an objective point of view. It’s hard to remember all those angles all of the time, but if I can ponder and reflect before addressing the issue; I’ve found it’s easier to truly consider each of these frameworks.

Sometimes it’s very necessary for me to apologize. I am wrong. A lot. Or I’m right – but I handled my “rightness” in a wrong way. So I still need to apologize.

Sometimes I need to wait. For if I’m raising my kids with hearts that are sensitive and empathetic; once they have had time to reflect – they will come and apologize to me.

And sometimes – sometimes I need to address the anger in my child and call them on their behavior; nipping it in the bud before it can fester and grow into bitterness.

It’s tough to know which call to make. But perspective helps. And knowing that if you have a loving relationship with your children, they won’t always be angry with you helps a lot also. They are right to have emotions just as we are. We need to be able to let them feel free to have those emotions even if it’s not fun.

Family life can’t always be happy. We need friction in order to help our children learn how to handle emotions and how to grow in healthy ways. We need to be strong enough to take the brunt of things at times, to help them learn. Children shouldn’t “rule the roost” so to speak – but in respectful ways, they can still work through their mad feelings towards us.

Our job as parents is to always love. Always respect. And always believe in our children. If we can forgive and ask for forgiveness when it’s necessary, we can always repair bridges that got a little charred from a fire of heated anger. 

Hopefully, the relationships we are building are honest and open enough that they can endure many disagreements. For many disagreements shall come.

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