“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23 (NKJV)
Many who have worked in the field of education have encountered parents who felt their kids were perfect. When their children got in trouble, parents would often blame “those kids s/he is running around with” or it was someone else who did it and didn’t tell the truth about their child, etc. Why? Could it be that we don’t see our own children clearly? Perhaps we may consider their misbehavior a reflection on our own parenting ability and feel insulted. Maybe we don’t understand that all people are sinners as we are told in Romans 3:23.
It is so easy to assume that our own children know more than we think they do, and that they understand what we have tried to teach them. Not so. All children are going through the learning process and will make mistakes, just as we parents also make mistakes. We often think that just because we have told children what to do or not do, that they know and obey. Telling is not teaching! Children must know and believe in their own minds that something is either good or not good or they will impulsively follow natural instincts of self-satisfaction. Sometimes we see our children as we want to see them rather than as they really are.
Let’s admit it. It’s embarrassing when our kids misbehave. “They must think I’m a terrible parent,” we may think. Then, we begin to fret. “Where did I go wrong?” “I love my kids!” “I’ve tried really hard to be a good parent and now this!” Let’s face it. Our kids are not perfect. We are not perfect. No one is perfect!
There are steps that we go through when we lose a loved one. We may first deny, we may get angry, we may blame others or even the person who passed away. Finally, hopefully, we accept the happening. Could it be that parents go through these steps as well? First we say, “My kids wouldn’t do that!”. That’s denial. Then we may blame others. “It’s those others kids who persuaded mine”, or “It’s the teacher’s fault”, or “It’s the school’s fault”. Unfortunately, acceptance of the facts may never come. For wise parents, it will come and steps will be taken to remedy the behavior. It is too bad that many think, “A good hard spanking will take care of that!” It may, but again, it may not. Some children will continue the behavior and just try not to get caught. If we can get children to understand the reasons behind why the behavior is unacceptable and get them to desire to do what is right, we will more likely get that behavior changed. It is human nature to do what we “want to” instead of what we “have to”!
Instead of saying “Not my kids”, perhaps we should say, “I’d better check into that and see what needs to be done”. At the same time, let’s be patient with the children of others. No one is perfect!