I’m not a big fan of bragging about my kids. My parents had some close friends when I was growing up and all they talked about was how amazing their kids were. It was annoying. 

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As a parent now, what I do want to make sure I do is encourage my kids, without prideful statements. As a Christian, I value humility. But don’t get me wrong, I struggle with pride myself, and have to make a conscious effort to kill it every day.

It seems the Lord has given me particular talents that make this harder. I’m an actor, a speaker, a writer, and a leader. All these things are prone to increase my pride and often requires self-promotion (hate that word) when I need to market myself or my books. 

And let’s not forget, I’m male…and men struggle with the sin of pride anyway, even without talents and abilities. It’s in our nature. I could blame it on testosterone, but it’s deeper than that.

Maybe I’ll blame it on Adam. I love pointing fingers!

At any rate, because I struggle with pride, it’s hard not to see it in others too…especially my middle school-aged children. But this is when they need to be bragged about most. I see it in their eyes, that longing for approval and esteem. 

Middle school is hard for kids. They are stuck between childhood and adulthood. There’s so much pressure to be liked and approved of among peers. They come home exhausted from the social interactions alone. 

So when they brag about themselves, it’s because they are desperate for it and I’m probably not doing a good enough job reminding them how awesome they are.

Last week, one of my daughters begin talking about how good she looked. I caught myself getting ready to share the importance God places on modesty and humility, but I stopped. She just needed Daddy to mention how incredibly beautiful she was, without turning it into a lesson on humility. 

Yesterday, my other middle school daughter wrote an email to the school dean asking him to reevaluate a teacher’s decision to give a bad grade. She never asked her mom or me to do it for her. that would be helicopter parenting (but that’s a topic for another post). She was confident enough to take this upon herself and she did well. The email was mature and professional and contained no teen angst that might normally disqualify her complaint. There was no whining. Not once did she include “It’s not fair!” or “Mrs. X hates me.” 

I was proud of my child and I told her. Later, I brought it up again, letting her know I was still pondering it and how impressed I was with her maturity.

Lest you think I’m a better dad than I am, let me tell you: I don’t make a practice of this like I should. Most times I think it, but don’t say it aloud, for fear I’ll create a prideful teen. Silly, I know.

Sometimes I suck at parenting. But I’m trying.

How about you? Do you agree it’s ok to encourage your kids? What about in public, among others, where it could be considered bragging? How does this fit into your family if you’re followers of Christ? Where’s the balance? Share your thought in the comments. 

If you’re a single parent, consider Tez’s book, The Single Dad Detour, available today on Amazon.com

 

So what’s it gonna be? What new leaf are you planning to turn over?

Mine is a manuscript. I want to finish my 4th book (working title…”Pre-Launching: How to Prepare Your Teen for Successful Adulting”)

My agent is anxious to see the first few chapters and that has me both excited and nervous. Afraid of failure or rejection.

What if this book isn’t good enough? What if my agent can’t find an interested publishing house when he tries to pitch the idea? B

It’s enough to make me give up. After all, I’m not a great parent. I fail all the time. What do I possibly have to offer? Add in another dozen or so self-defeating comments and I’m ready to call it a day.

Ever feel like that? Especially when it comes to New Year’s resolutions?

Our resolutions for parenting are the worst. I’m gonna be more understanding. I’m gonna yell less. I’m gonna be more involved at their school. Cook healthier dinners. Start a family Bible study. The list goes on.

We set so many high standards for ourselves, it’s pretty easy to fail.

It’s funny. I have no problem accepting grace from God when I need it (which is pretty often). But I can’t seem to give it to myself. Why is that?

I think it comes from a belief that people are bigger than they are. That somehow, what they think of me is so important that I forget to care what God thinks of me. In essence, people are big and God is small.

Yikes! Sorry, God.

In reality, if we are his children, He thinks you and I are pretty awesome. He views us through rose-colored glasses.

Does this mean we should stop trying to improve ourselves? Of course not, especially when it comes to walking closer to God.

But accepting who we are and how God made us is important. God created you to be the perfect parent for your child(ren). He paired you up with your kids because you’d be perfect together as a family. Sure we’re gonna fail as parents from time to time. Sure we could use a few New Year’s resolutions when it comes to parenting.

But I’m learning not to base my proposed improvements on what I think society wants me to be. Rather, I want to be all that God created me to be and desires of me. Flaws and all. AThere’s a lot of new pressure for a new year. But Philippians 3:12 reminds me, “I don’t mean to say I’m perfect. I haven’t learned all I should even yet. But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be. ” (Living Bible)

How about you? What areas do you struggle with when it comes to other’s opinions of you as a parent? How do you navigate through that? Share with us in the comments.