My friend’s husband had just lost his job. She herself was caring for her elderly parents. So when her son rolled his eyes at her and she couldn’t stop screaming, she knew she’d crossed a line.
I’ve heard the calmest, sweetest, sanest parents say or scream things they aren’t proud of. And honestly, we’ve all been there. “One who makes no mistakes makes nothing,” said St. Teresa of Ávila. Remember that God gave us children to help us grow too. If and when you lose it, try not to beat yourself up. Instead, ask yourself what you’ve learned. Do you need to walk away or take deep breaths when you feel anger coming? Is there something else that’s bothering you right now? When you’re ready, talk to your child about what happened, without blaming your child for your behavior. One more thing. You can go to confession. Now you might ask, what can a priest who’s never raised children possibly say to me? It isn’t really what Fr. Mike or Fr. Bill says in the confessional. It’s what Jesus does for us there-forgiving us, wiping out our sins, and helping us start fresh. When we lose it, Jesus helps us find everything and more.
TO DO» Learn about saints who were parents or who worked with kids: Mary, Joseph, Monica, John Bosco, Mary MacKillop, Gianna Baretta, etc. Make them your companions and pray to them often.
TO PRAY» St.__________, be with me today.
Connie Clark is the editor of Living Faith Kids and the author of several books, including Living the Beatitudes (Twenty-Third Publications). She is a parent of two teenagers.
Excerpted from Pep Talks for Catholic parents, by Connie Clark. 2016. Published by Twenty-Third Publications. Used with permission. All rights reserved.