She was doing it again. That thing that just gets under my skin. The look, the attitude, and the unspoken message were being communicated loud and clear; she was not happy. My first inclination was to train her, but then I heard a soft voice remind me, “She is doing what you do.” (sigh) It’s true; my children are mini versions of me. The poor little dears…
As much as I would love to portray an image of perfect parenthood, the truth is I am human. Just like everyone else, I too make mistakes. This is most apparent when my children act out. As does a mirror, my children reflect back to me all the ways in which I need improvement.
Parenting has taught me so much about myself and not all of it good!
The most important lesson I have learned from parenting is that mercy and grace need to abound. While I have a tendency towards being overly firm, sometimes a gentle hand is what is needed.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to pay attention to those moments of frustration that these children are experiencing. I would encourage myself to listen carefully to the underlying message this little person is trying to convey. I would remind myself to be patient, humble, and gracious. Most importantly, I would tell myself that these are lessons from God for me. The Lord is using these situations to shape me and mold my character. Through my children, God is showing me areas which need improvement and giving me the opportunity to change.
This is the same advice I would offer others. When your children act like mini-replica’s of yourself – and not the best versions of you, either – consider this a wonderful teaching moment for you! Don’t be quick to judge, but seek to restore that child back into a proper relationship with the family.
Having our children be miniature versions of ourselves can be a little frustrating at times, but it is also a blessing. Besides showing us personal areas of needed improvement, we have a unique ability to understand the struggles this child is experiencing. We’ve been in her shoes and we know what she needs to move forward.
The next time you’re faced with a ‘mini-me’ moment, consider this a wonderful learning opportunity, for both of you!
Time to Chime In: Which of your children is your ‘mini-me’ and what has the experience taught you?
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:4