Parenting has the potential to really callous a person, so it’s important to keep things in perspective and to also keep a responsive heart.
So that when the winds come (or have come), it’s up to us to decide how things are going to go. We (well, our choices) are the only ones that we have the power to control. When we need a reminder of how to be (especially at times when it doesn’t come easily), we can remember that kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness will go the distance for us every time.
Sounds simple enough, but it can sometimes be an illogical challenge to be kind (even to our children and our spouse), to keep a tender heart (even towards those we created and committed to), and to continue to forgive (because our relationships in our family are continuous—the flow of love and care is never-ending, like a waterfall).
It doesn’t really matter if we feel it at first. The feelings will come eventually because feelings often follow the pattern of our thoughts. And our thoughts often follow the pattern of our will. What matters, then, is that we want to be these things (kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another). And then that we think about how to be these things and imagine what it would look like and sound like. And then somewhere in there (even if we don’t yet feel like being kind, tenderhearted, or forgiving), we’ll need to actually do what we’ve put our heart and mind on.
It’s definitely a process to parent in a more child-friendly way if we aren’t completely familiar with this approach to parenting (and to love and relationships in general), but the more we attempt to do it, the better we’ll get at it.