Today's blog post is written by Mrs. Jennifer Copeland, fifth grade teacher at LCS.
I put a hole in my son’s math book page this week.
Yes, I did. I’m not even going to lie about it if the teacher asks. I was told that replacing the book could cost me $75. I clearly should go into the textbook writing career industry.
I’ve learned something about myself in this stage of life that I am in right now. I don’t tend to be short tempered or the type to engage in confrontation, but helping my son with his math homework brings out a crazy person inside of me…something that resembles an animal devouring her young. I really do go into homework time prepared to stay calm and patient. I mean, I am a teacher myself, so this is my gift, right? Nope, not with my own kids. Teaching is apparently a gift that I can only use with other people’s kids.
So after hearing, “That’s not how the teacher said to do it.” or “I don’t have to show my work.” about a thousand times, I literally lost all patience. I was trying to show my son that I knew the right answer to the problem he was on, so I circled the correct answer in the back of the book. Apparently writing in the textbook is a huge no-no! He was a little worried about that, but kept arguing, so I continued to circle, and circle, and circle…until I put a hole in the page. And then his eyes got big--big like he knew I had slipped into scary mom mode!
I decided we needed a break. (That means I slammed the pencil down and left the room.) I was instantly so disappointed in myself. I had gone into the situation prepared and ready to be patient, and then I lost it. Luckily my husband came to the rescue, and the math was completed. But I had lost the opportunity to be a “good mom” and model self-control.
That night, I talked to my son. I told him I was so sorry for losing my temper. I told him that I knew I was always teaching him about how God wants us to act, and I didn’t want to look like a hypocrite. I asked my son to forgive me and told him I am so not perfect and that this is exactly why I need Jesus.
I realized at that moment that I hadn’t lost. Satan didn’t win. I was able to show my son that I am a sinner just like him, and I need forgiveness. My son was able to clearly see the process of sin, repentance, and then restoration. When we actually live through these experiences, it is so much more impactful than just teaching them.
As parents, we sometimes fall into the trap of believing the lie that we have to be perfect for our kids. That is impossible. With growing access to everyone’s lives on social media, we often feel like we are the only ones that don’t “have it all together”. Satan wants us to feel defeated. He wants us distracted and busy, and wow, do I feel that pressure! As parents we have to remember that we all mess us, but if handled correctly, the greatest victories in our parenting can often come from our biggest failures.
Yes, I lost my temper and I might have to pay $75, but $75 was so worth the lesson!