GROWING UP DYSFUNCTIONALLY
Years ago I was listening to a renown speaker and pastor and he made the statement, "Be the kind of parent you needed when you were a kid." That seemingly gold nugget struck a chord of tension in my soul. How do I do that? I can't do that! I've never seen what I needed. So, how can I possibly apply that to my life?
Growing up as a one of five kids under the supervision of one parent to say the least was tough. Without a dad in the home I was left to try and figure out this thing called life. So, you do what most inner city kids do - figure it out. The only problem with figuring it out is that you're left without a moral compass. When you're left without healthy boundaries then ultimately you find yourself in unhealthy circumstances that can lead to your demise.
Here I am at age 33 and I'm trying to figure out how to parent. I have good days and I have bad days. I have days where I feel like a rock star dad and I'm ready to sign autographs. The challenge at my age is getting to a healthy place in my own personal life so that I can navigate the waters of parenting more successfully.
If you're anything like me - you wish you could get better a being a parent. Some day’s you feel like throwing in the towel and other days you feel like overpopulating the world with more offspring. I definitely haven't cornered the market called being Mr. Wonderful, but I'm learning how to win as a parent. I'm convinced that we can win as parents. That's why I want to share a few ways to win in the days of head as a parent.
WINNING AT A NEW NORMAL
A few weeks ago my wife and I were in the kitchen getting ready for dinner and one of our kids were freaking out. After having some initial conversation with my son he continued to push buttons. At this point steam was coming from my ears! In that instant I looked at my wife and said, “I’ve got to take a time-out I will be back in a few minutes.”
I went up stairs, closed the door, sat down and breathed deeply. I realized that I needed a TIME OUT. In the sports world coaches and teammates alike get the power of a time out. Say a team is losing and the other team gains momentum then that’s a problem. Often time teams will call a time out to change the momentum. The same is true in parenting.
When you find that the momentum has shifted in your parenting – call a time out, declare your intent, and take however long you need to regain your sense of sanity. I’m not saying this is the holy grail of parenting, but it’s a way that I’m winning in parenting.
The thing I love about calling a time out is that if gives you time to settle yourself emotionally. Often times when parental situations get tough and sometimes ugly we have a tendency to escalate. I’m learning that when I escalate emotionally I lose logically. In other words, when I follow what I feel I fail to be the parent that my children need.
I’m not throwing our emotions out the window at all. Our emotions are God given and are a unique gift that God gives us in our human experience. However, what if you could call a time out, regain control, and find God in the heat of the moment? We could then be the parents that our children need at that moment.
A FINAL THOUGHT
I haven’t found the secret sauce to parenting. I don’t think it exist. But, I do think that God wants to give us tools and strategies to help us raise our kids as radical world changers so that God can use them in our generation, and just maybe a time-out could be a way to win in the process of raising those radicals.
In what ways are you winning as a parent?