Most of us are familiar with forgiveness, whether we learned it in childhood or later in life. It’s not an easy concept for a lot of people. Many times we feel we have to accept the unacceptable or forget the unforgettable in order to forgive. We are afraid to “let them off the hook.” In reality, when we forgive, we are letting ourselves off the hook. We are saying no to bitterness, resentment and a hardened heart. Have you ever heard the saying that holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die? Not a good choice.
I realized the other day that most of us don’t think of forgiveness in terms of parenting. Parents love unconditionally; it’s natural for us. Yet, how often do we dislike a certain behavior in our child or feel disrespected or even get mad at ourselves (or our spouse) for how we handled a situation? Those things add up and they create walls which separate us from our family.
Forgiveness is an excellent tool to free us up to be better parents. It allows our hearts to stay soft. It allows us to let go of the past, freeing us up to set healthy boundaries from love. It frees us up to live!
If you ever wanted to clear the slate for yourself, now is a great time. If you are frustrated with your children, your life, or just find yourself feeling bogged down, you might be holding on to something that is holding you back. It could be with your children, yourself, your spouse, a neighbor, a family member, teacher, co-worker, and so on. We are disappointed daily and so are our kids. It’s time to let go and to teach them how to do the same. It’s a simple process and will make an immediate and huge impact on your ability to connect with your children and to parent with a soft and loving heart (so important for the parent child relationship).
Take a moment right now; you can do it privately. Simply think of a person who has done something that has hurt you recently. Start with something small and seemingly insignificant if you can. Picture that person in your head and say these words, “I choose to forgive you (name) for (what they did that hurt you).” Take a few deep breaths. Now think of that incident again. Do you notice any change? You may need to repeat this several times. Take your time. Stick with it and keep breathing. It’s a choice and it is very freeing.
Moms in particular hold on to a lot of guilt. Are you willing to forgive yourself for the things you have done or not done? Are you willing to let go of blaming your spouse? Is there resentment building up towards your children for something? Wouldn’t it be worth letting it go so you can be in the present moment and move forward from here? Forgiveness is a great start!
The process I shared above is a simplified version. If you would like some assistance in letting things go and learning how to forgive within your family, feel free to contact me. You can let go of whatever is keeping you from having the parent child relationship and home life that you desire. It’s a daily choice and very doable. If you would like some additional simple tips on parenting, you are welcome to take advantage of our free newsletter. It will provide encouragement along your parenting journey.
Traci Williams is the Founder and CEO of A Loving Way to Parent. She is known for her practical and intuitive parenting style and can be reached for questions or consultation at 951-240-1407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.