As a parent, we often find ourselves in situations where we lose control, say words that we don’t mean, raise our voices when it is unnecessary, and generally act like a child. In the heat of the moment we sometimes know that we are doing the wrong thing and conducting ourselves inappropriately, but we feel like we are stuck in a whirlwind or a carnival ride that just keeps spinning even though we want it to stop. We don’t realize the impact that our behavior has had until we see the tears shining in our child’s eyes.
Mornings used to be the most difficult part of the day in our household. When two parents work, it is difficult to find enough time to come home, cook a nutritious meal, spend time with the children, get everyone cleaned up and ready for bed, and still have time to unwind from your own day. This led to later and later bedtimes for both children and parents, which ultimately led to difficult, cranky mornings.
On one particular morning, instead of my son having to be pulled out of bed by his ankles and forced to stand up until his eyes opened, he sat up in bed and gave me a big hug. Imagine my surprise! It took me a moment to decide how to respond before I put my arms around him and hugged him back. He whispered in my ear “I love you Daddy” and continued to cling to me. My attitude suddenly took a much different turn. I sat down on the bed and pulled him into my arms and whispered back “I love you too.” In that very moment, I understood that it isn’t about the when, where, and why in our lives. It was about the who.
I am not saying that every morning has been perfect since that day. We still have our days where I want to sit and cry along with my children in the back seat. I still have to dig up the nerve to apologize to my children when I act like a child myself. All of us make mistakes and we have to be willing to forgive ourselves and ask for forgiveness. Even though apologies are difficult, children need to know that everyone screws up sometimes…even parents! They need to know that it is important to understand when they have done something wrong, and to know how they can fix their errors or try to make them better.
When you feel yourself getting caught up in the whirlwind of your own life, make a conscious decision to try and get off. If the ride just won’t stop, then make sure that you pay attention to the feelings of your fellow passengers. It will help your family grow and become stronger.
Martial arts and organized sports are a good way for children and adults to work out some of the stresses that come with everyday life. If you are interested in learning more about yourself and forgiveness contact Ohana Karate and Sensei Sam Larioza today.