Annie had one idea in mind. Her exhausted five-year-old son had another. By applying what she learned through Connected Families, Annie experienced a sweet parenting moment with her son.
I attended a workshop given by Connected Families a couple years ago and this grace-filled parenting approach has slowly shaped me into the parent I’ve wanted to be.
Just the other day I had a very hard but sweet moment with my intense little guy.
We recently had family in town for a visit. After a few days with lots of play, but less sleep and routine, our kids were doing surprisingly well. My husband planned to take our two sons to our house nearby to put them to bed so I could stay with the grown-ups, but my 5-yr-old refused to go. He begged, cried and negotiated for me to take him home and put him to bed.
Exasperated, I got us both into the car to drive home and screamed, “What do you want?!” His response through tears was “I’m just SO tired!”
Ouch. He was right – I had been pushing him, yet I completely lacked grace when his exhaustion started to show. I felt uncomfortable about “giving in” but remembered the Connected Families message about the importance of connection and keeping a long view of parenting rather than demanding quick obedience. I said a quick sorry and as I drove I prayed for a calm heart.
While helping him into his pajamas I apologized again for yelling, and said, “Even adults can be selfish. I was angry because I selfishly wanted to be spending time with my relatives and I wasn’t getting what I wanted. Obedience is important, but I also understand how tired you are, so I’ll stay and put you to bed first.”
I asked him to forgive me and, thankfully, he did, but he also added, “Mom, I’m sorry too. None of us are perfect. Only God and Jesus are perfect.”
We prayed and he was quickly asleep. In that twenty minutes away from my relatives, I was blessed to connect with my son and have a sweet gospel conversation with him. I am so thankful that God showers us with grace when we mess up, and that Connected Families is shaping me to be a more grace-filled parent!
As discouraging as it can be to face our own selfishness and sin, it is our best opportunity to demonstrate that the gospel of grace is alive and well in our home.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
Annie and her husband, Dan, have also taken the Sibling Conflict online course and are planning on participating in the Discipline That Connects online course. Want to learn more about these concepts? Download our one-hour recording of a Discipline That Connects workshop.