Do I love my children more when they are neat and clean?
Do I love them less when they are messy and dirty? These are also lies that some parents may be living. Thoughts like these are myths which damage our joy and our relationships. Of course a parent wouldn't hinge their love for a child upon appearance.
In fact, people often ask me how to raise confident children. Allowing a child to make messes and wear funny mismatched clothing from time to time is one way they determine they are good at making choices. All people need a safe way to learn decision making and cause and effect. Simple clothing choices at young ages, and creative projects, which often make messes, are great cause and effect learning moments and should be embraced by parents.
More Lies And Facts
Social culture often pressures dads to behave certain ways toward their sons. They may teach their sons that crying is for sissies or men don’t do house work. These are lies.
Moms feel the same pressure. Girls are to be pretty, neat and tidy; girls need to be liked and admired by their peers. Girls shouldn’t do boy-things. These are lies.
I eventually realized I was living the lie that I had to have a clean house all the time. I found that lie stressing me, so I gave it up. Now my house looks messy most of the time because I choose to be involved with my children more. Certainly, I do clean and straighten, and I feel good when I do, but it is not top priority.
There was another time when I realized I was living the lie that my husband was to blame for our relationship problems. I caught myself thinking quite often, “Why doesn’t he change? Can’t he see that this is a problem?” But it was not always him; it was often me; and then I realized that it is really always “us” -- not just him and not just me.
So now, when there is a problem, I think, “I have a problem with him, so what do I need to fix about me?” So I pray for inspiration, analyze the situation, pray some more, and make a plan to “fix” me. That is what I do now instead of living that lie.
So be careful. People lose their ability to analyze situations, to plan appropriate measures, and to live those plans deliberately when they are living a lie at the same time. It cannot be done. Analyze what lies you live. Where in your life are you in conflict a lot? Is there a lie attached to it? There probably is.
Society, excuses, selfishness, and pride all lead to these myths, or lies, which make us lose track of our priorities and become ineffective at governing ourselves and ineffective at bonding with our family members. Let's recognize these thoughts for what they are; myths. They try to convince us that something on the outside of another person can make us successful. When in reality, the only way we are successful is if we have spoken to the inside of our children. And, the only way to prepare for that is to repair the thoughts on the inside of ourselves.
Nicholeen Peck is a popular public speaker, BBC television star and author of Parenting A House United, and Londyn LaRae Says Okay. Her blog is Teaching Self Government. The BBC show of her family can be found there, as well as answers to frequently asked parenting questions. To buy her book click here. Check out her Books and Audio Classes, New Children's Book or her Blog which is full of great parenting tips!