What makes a good parent anyway?

I’m so afraid of being a bad parent, I forget to think about what factors into being a good parent. Oh. Yea. I don’t just want to be “not-bad”. I would like to be good.

You know “good” by the fruit, by seeing children thrive, by seeing them feel confident in uncertain situations and feel assured that they are loved no matter what. Those are the kind of kids I want to raise, kids who are uncompromising on issues of Jesus, human morality and ethics, but open-minded about people who are diferent, other cultures, remaining kind and compassionate. Kids who are creative and innovative and willing to risks, children who pursue their place in the world. Children who “know their God and do mighty exploits”.

Yea, I’m not too ambitious.

But is it okay for me to think big like this? And where should I start? Donald Miller, in his article, “Great Kids Have Parents Who Seem To Do This Well“, suggests that honesty and openness about my humanity as a parent is the launch pad for raising confident children. Really? It’s that easy? Just be vulnerable?

With all my faults as a mum, I feel like I do that well. For crying out loud, I have nothing else to do but apologize some days. My short temper and lack of patience is appalling to me, and I want my son to know that, even if he can’t pronounce the word “appalling”, much less define it.

But he does know “sad” and “sorry”. So I can say, “I am sad that I yelled at you, and I am sorry. Will you forgive me?” He will probably already have forgotten that I yelled, and that’s the nice thing about three year olds. Then he grab my head and push my cheek next to his soft, pillowy one, and we will both be happy to be loved.

Maybe I can be a good mom after all.

How do you share your shortcomings with your kids? Share in the comments below.