The Parental Guilt Trip

My son [and daughter], if your heart is wise, my heart will rejoice.’ Proverbs 23:15 NKJV

Since there are no perfect people, there can be no perfect parents. So though you love your children dearly, at times you’ll get tired, frustrated, disappointed and irritable. The secret is to make such times the exception rather than the rule. A Christian psychologist writes: ‘A few years ago I asked one thousand mothers and fathers to describe their greatest frustrations in raising kids. I heard many humorous stories about sticky telephones and wet toilet seats and knotted shoestrings. One mother actually wanted to know why toddlers never throw up in the bathroom… But in our poll parents didn’t merely laugh about their frustrations—they tended to blame themselves. They said they were overwhelmed and were losing confidence in their ability to do the job. Many were having trouble just coping from day to day. How sad it is that this ancient responsibility of raising children has become so burdensome and laden with guilt. Actually, the facts won’t support that self-condemnation in the majority of cases. Most mums and dads are doing a creditable job at home—and it’s time someone patted them on the back for their commitment and sacrifice. Some day when the frustrations of toddlerhood and the turmoil of adolescence have passed, they’ll enjoy the sweet benefits of being very good and loving parents. Hang in there, Mum and Dad; you’re more skilled than you think you are.’

Solomon spells out the parent’s true reward: ‘My son [and daughter], if your heart is wise, my heart will rejoice.’