Shannon Philpott-Sanders

Writing, Reflecting, Teaching, Parenting

Parenting Pitfalls: How to Turn Flaws Into Faith

parentingfailsPublished March 2014: The Messenger – Faith: A Fresh Take

Parenting Pitfalls: How to Turn Flaws Into Faith

We are all flawed. From eating too many sweets and over-indulging in material items to shirking our responsibilities at times and giving into greed.

As a parent, I’d love to say that I’m flawless, but I would be lying. I’m not as consistent as I should be, I give in when I shouldn’t and I sweat the small stuff when there are bigger things to worry about. As much as it is difficult to admit it, this parenting gig is full of trial and error and even though my children are teenagers, I’m still making mistakes left and right while doing my best to get it right.

What I have learned over the years is that I must accept my flaws, move forward and work toward faithful parenting. When I’m frustrated that my son’s room is cluttered with wet towels and dirty socks, I have to learn to let go and put the responsibility on him. I have set up consequences for inappropriate behavior and have had to sit back and let my children learn that their flaws develop into teachable moments.

More importantly, I believe in allowing my children to accept their own flaws while I stress the fact that I have faith in them to succeed.

Having faith in your children and yourself, as a parent, is an important parenting strategy. As much as I want to save them from every disappointment, every falter and every consequence stemming from their actions, I can’t. If my daughter doesn’t dress out at PE, she must take the hit to her grade. If my son doesn’t put his clothes in the hamper, he will have to suffer through a day with clothes that can only be described as a smelly disaster.

I have to take my own consequences, too. When I forget to send lunch money, sign a permission slip or pick up milk on my way home from work, I see the disappointment in my kids’ eyes. I have to live with the guilt I experience when my daughter says we are “always” late and when my son gets embarrassed when I snort when I laugh.

Even though my flaws are just that – flaws, they are also proof that I am human as a parent. My kids know that I’m not perfect and I hope that they understand that “perfect” is not reality. We all have flaws. We all face the consequences of our flaws. And, we all have to learn how to turn those flaws into faith – faith that we can improve, succeed and learn.

I may never get this parenting thing right, but if I can show my kids that I am learning and putting faith in the future, then maybe they will see that flaws are just a stepping stone to success – as long as faith is along for the ride.

— Shannon Philpott

Read More Fresh Takes on Faith HERE

March 7, 2014 - Posted by | Newspaper Writing, Opinion, Sample Work | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Thank you–this is an important reminder (said the one who sent the kindergartener to school with his little brother’s snowpants in his backpack). So true that we parents have to accept our own flaws; it’s so tempting to (try to) hide them, but of course that doesn’t work. I tell myself that “flawless” people are usually annoying anyway. 🙂 Looking forward to reading more of your blog.

    Comment by momocular | March 7, 2014 | Reply

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