When Parents Have Baggage


How to parent with confidence when you have baggage and regrets
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Can we talk about baggage in parenting?

Because we all have it. Maybe you experienced loss or hurt or abuse as a child; maybe you carry regrets from poor decisions you have made in the past. Sometimes our baggage can make us doubt ourselves as parents. We become tentative, insecure, inconsistent. We worry so much about hurting our kids—either by repeating mistakes other people have made with us or repeating our own mistakes—that we freeze up. Instead of leading our kids confidently, with a godly balance of firmness and grace, we hang back. We may become so afraid of coming on too strong that we back off altogether. And so our fear of hurting our kids becomes the very thing that hurts our kids! They are left feeling insecure, wondering why the boundary lines keep moving—or if they exist at all.

I don’t know what baggage you carry, but I hope you find encouragement from these Bible-based truths:

–Our children won’t get any other parents. We’re all they’ve got. Our kids need us—want us—to fill our God-given role.

–“Love each another deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). If we are generous with affection and encouragement, our kids will still feel loved and secure even when we make mistakes. Children are wonderfully forgiving people.

–God is the only perfect parent; the rest of us make mistakes.

–It’s better to parent imperfectly than not at all.

–Our weaknesses and regrets can become wonderful parenting tools, teaching our kids about forgiveness, grace, and salvation.

–Never underestimate the parenting power of two simple words: “I’m sorry.”

–If you parent firmly, consistently, and confidently, your children will be secure.

–If you give grace to your kids, they will give you grace in return.

All parents have baggage—regrets and hurts from our past. Let go of baggage and fear to parent with confidence. via @lizzylit

 

–And finally, let us remember these encouraging words: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18).

Let go of your baggage. Let go of your fear. Love and lead your children with confidence.


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Author: Elizabeth Laing Thompson VIEW ALL AUTHORS POSTS

Elizabeth works from home as a writer, editor, diaper changer, baby snuggler, laundry slayer, not-so-gourmet chef, kid chauffeur, floor mopper, dog groomer, and tantrum tamer. She is always tired, but it's mostly the good kind.

2 comments

Comments
  • Elisa Caleb November 25, 2016 at 6:03 am

    Thanks Elizabeth! I don’t know a mum who doesn’t have a sense of disbelief when they bring home their first baby! Like, ‘How could the hospital let me leave with this child, don’t they know what kind of person I am??’ or ‘Oh my days!! I really hope I don’t mess up their life!’.

    But I love that passage in 1 Peter 4 about love covering a multitude of sins! We SO need to hear that! We need to give ourselves grace sometimes. And that can help us to have more grace with our kids!
    That and knowing that the ultimate love covered the ultimate multitude of sins.

    I’ve gotta post that scripture on my mirror!

    • Elizabeth Laing Thompson November 28, 2016 at 10:47 am

      Ha, you nailed the coming-home-from-the-hospital-utterly-overwhelmed feeling! I’m so grateful for grace and second chances! (And third, and fourth, and millionth… 🙂 )

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