It is OK for our kids to be Sad.....Using Hurt Feelings To Teach

Many times I slip into thinking my entire job as a parent is to protect, but isn't it too teach?

Recently Batman was crying during a consequence for being too rough with his brother, and he kept saying,"My feelings are hurt."  This isn't new from him; several times before he has told us his feelings are hurt when he gets a negative consequence. I looked into his eyes as he cried about not being able to play with his best friend (his brother) and God prompted me to say, "Sometimes hurt feelings are the consequence. Hurt feelings remind us to make a better choice next time."

The moment it left my mouth I knew it was not from me, because it was such a biblical truth and so against my natural instincts. My Heavenly Father has whispered this to me in my own feelings, in times I have cried out to Him. God has taught this truth to me many times over in my own adult life, but it had not occurred to me that I need to speak this truth to my kids.  Sometimes the hurt isn't even from a choice we made ourselves, but it is no less instructive about how we proceed in the future.

I am not talking physical hurt either, because how quick are we to tell them that touching the stove with make them burn.  But do we stress the emotional consequences of being mean to a friend, that that friend may not want to play with them anymore?    Do we discuss how if a friend lies to them then it teaches them to put trust in someone else.  or if they lie to a friend, how their friend loose trust in them.

Unfortunately I usually respond to my sensitive son with a remark how his brother's feelings are hurt by his roughness or my feelings are hurt by his disobedience.  Or I crumble and give in and give him something to distract him because I know he is genuinely hurting and as his Mama I want to make it stop. These responses really are not fair or instructive to him at all.   It is easy to say with my head that my kids need to feel consequences of their actions, but it seems to be another to know in my heart they sometimes need to experience hurt.   And the parenting aspect of this hurt is not to either inflict hurt or completely shield them from it, but to help explain it and help them understand it.   Repentance and remorse come from seeing AND feeling the consequences of the choice you made.
This a picture of my boys sitting in time out at my in-laws Christmas Tree Farm.
They missed a fun ride to the tree fields and they were so cute while sulking that  I couldn't help but snap a picture.

No comments:

Post a Comment