When you think of your parents… what comes to mind?
Were they caring and kind… or harsh and abrasive? Were they calm and collected or stressed and “on edge” most of the time? Were they available or distracted and busy?
And, even though you may feel a certain way this doesn’t necessarily mean that you tell that to other folks. I think we secretly tone things down (or turn things up) in terms of our descriptions of our parents when we reflect and share about them.
My wife and I are thinking actively about these types of things as it relates to our three kiddos. We wonder how they will describe us to their friends. We wonder how they will remember us.
Our children aren’t perfect and they make a lot of mistakes. And yes, we get really, really mad at them, sometimes its called for and sometimes it’s completely our bad.
And punishments and restrictions are right around the corner. Taking away privileges is our main mode of operating with the two oldest.
But the way we mete out punishment and justice will be remembered more than the actual punishment itself. What we say will be forgotten… but how we make them feel will be remembered (and shared) for the rest of their lives.
It’s important that we consider not just what we do but how we do it. Our kids will remember. I remember.