Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
Zack is officially a “tweener.” He’s fulfilling that job description well by arguing with me over just about everything. It really rubs me the wrong way; I am the parent, after all.
Then I think about the mom I want to be. I want to be open minded and approachable. I want my kids to feel like they can talk to me about anything, ask me anything.
Last week my kids and I participated in a service project with MOSAIC Kids , a group my friend Jess runs. We were making no sew tie blankets for sick children in hospitals. To streamline things, we were supposed to cut strips in the fabric before meeting up. That way, the only thing the kids had to do at the gathering was tie the strips together.
It was a crazy busy week. That day, when Zack got home from Middle School, I was just lining up the fleece fabric on the kitchen floor to cut it. Having done this project last year, and having quickly read over the directions right before, I thought I knew what I was doing. Yet Zack was telling me I had laid out the fabric wrong. With a combination of the arrogant parent syndrome, and just twenty minutes to cut three blankets, I shushed him and continued with my work.
It turns out Zack was right. I had been too close minded and rushed to even consider he had a point. Worse still, digging my heels in thinking I knew more because I’m the mom created so much more work for me. Flipping the fabric the correct way after having cut it meant the strips didn’t line up. It took forever to fix the problem, and the finished product looked pretty ridiculous.
Zack is more than just my son; he’s his own person, with his own approach to things, and his own perspective. He’s also very bright and most times logical. I need to recognize that more and give him the benefit of the doubt. I need to stop thinking that just because I’m the mom I always know better than him. If I want him to mature and grow in confidence, I need to treat him with more respect: listening to his opinion with a truly open mind, not just half-heartedly while I multi-task.
That’s not to say I plan on blurring the line between parent and child. He’ll still need to approach me with respect. We’re not buddies; we’re mother and son. He has plenty of friends; I’m the only mother he has. I need to keep it that way.
I try not to act like a know it all with my friends. I certainly don’t act that way with God. It’s now time to stop acting like I know it all with my kids.
Questions For Reflection:
* Do I think I know it all when it comes to my kids?
* Do I always listen to my kids with an open mind?
* When my kids do question me, do I make sure they do so respectfully? If not, how can I change this?