The danger in this? We may be tempted to discipline and instruct like a hypocrite. Notice I say like. I don't think that it's an intentional thing, and maybe one is not really even being a hypocrite. But when we discipline and instruct without regard to the very same issue we have with ourselves, it's in essence a form of hypocrisy. We never acknowledge, and never admit that we have struggled already with that sin that very same day, and our children know it. A seed of bitterness can likely form in their hearts as they are being disciplined for the very thing their parent often displays without acknowledgment.
- When speaking to your child about pride, tell them that you too need Jesus every day because you are prideful sometimes, and give an example of two of specific ways you have been prideful recently.
- Apologize and ask forgiveness in the right tone, the same tone you would expect your child to ask forgiveness in, without using the word "but." (For example: In an exasperated tone one might say, "Mommy is sorry she yelled at you, BUT you must obey Mommy when she calls you." You are not really apologizing, you are saying the words, but still trying to justify your sin of anger).
- Ask your children to pray for the things you struggle with. WOW. I never thought of this until I read this on my friend Amanda's blog. I was so incredibly impressed with the vulnerability she has with her children. She was struggling with having a bad attitude toward one of her children who was giving her a particularly difficult day. So in the moment, in the midst of it, she pulled her oldest child (not the one giving her trouble that day), who is 6 years old, aside privately and asked her daughter right there, to pray for Mommy's attitude. WOW. That's vulnerability. Just think of the relationship growing between that little girl and her mom, and between that little girl and Jesus. In my opinion, that opens HUGE doors of communication between mom and daughter in the many years to come when guiding and helping her to make wise choices. Just think of the respect for Mom's wisdom and godly advice that little girl will have when she is being counseled by her mom, even as a teenager, because she trusts her mom. She sees her as a real person, with real struggles, the same as her own, but with more wisdom about how to deal with them. To me, that is priceless parenting.