My son is in the 7th grade this year and more and more is becoming his own person. Glimpses of him as the child he was have become harder to find and as a view of the man he is becoming takes center stage.
There are things about my son’s behavior that irritate me at times and as his parent it is my duty to point out these fallacies much to his chagrin. Such has been the way of the father-son relationship for as long as there have been fathers and sons.
Some fathers unfortunately take this role too far and the relationship eventually falls into a pattern of conflict that can be very hard to break. The pattern of conflict works to create the “Father wound“ and can impact a boy well into manhood.(more on the wound on a later post)
The other day I came to the realization that many of the things I lash out the hardest to Conner about are really inner anger points at me. Sure, part of parenting is to help our children not to repeat our own mistakes and to grow into a better life than we experienced. At the same time, it is just as important we don’t let our personal fallacies get in the way of our children growing into who God intended them to be. Perhaps my weaknesses can grow to be his strengths.
There are many things about myself that I hope Conner will never become. The mirror I see myself in is often filled with doubt, selfishness, fear and pain. Basically it is a mirror filled with a human living in a fallen world just like you and everyone else.
My commitment is to not stop correcting the boundaries since that is a critical part of parenting. I will however make sure to focus on strengths more than weakness and check those three fingers to ensure the finger I am pointing is not just three at me.
As a parent, do you find yourself lashing out really towards your own faults rather than your child’s actual issue? Let me challenge you this next time to really consider the source of your irritation before correction.