I was listening to a Podcast with Pastor Mike Erre the other day and he was talking about parenting his teenage children. As a parent and spending the majority of my career working with teens, I took an active interest in what he had to say.
He started by relating the way our heavenly father loves us, even when we feel unlovable. Even when we feel like we have done bad, God still loves us, He is still there for us. He mentioned that when one of his children are slamming doors, leave me alone mad, he will just grab a book, or something he is working on and go sit in their room at the foot of the bed and wait. “Dad leave me alone!” is just met with a kind, “No, I love you even when you are feeling bad and I am here for you.” Which he says, when the anger has cleared almost always leads to a good conversation and positive resolution, along with an openness that he wouldn’t have had with a dismissive attitude or an immediate punishment for bad behavior.
Which got me thinking about how when my kids do something wrong, I typically just react to the situation instead of thinking it through. Which usually ends with me acting out in anger or prematurely.
So, for the last couple weeks I have been working on pausing and waiting until my emotions pass before taking any next steps with my children. Often the best thing for Luke is just to hold him until his own emotions pass. Charlotte seems to do best with an open honest dialogue as she is trying to understand how this world works. I have been enjoying learning more about my kids as I love them through the badness.