Joey & Carla Link
Parents can actually stop their kids from learning without knowing it. How? By stopping them from feeling the consequences of the choices they make.
When I was growing up, I remember a friend of mine told a whopper of a lie to get out of trouble. It took a few days for his parents to track down all the details, but when they did, he told me how embarrassed he was that he had to go back to the man in our church and confess what he really did and tell him why he lied about it. It took my friend Mike a week of what seemed like solitary confinement before he agreed to talk to the man, but when he did, I remember Mike telling me how afraid he was. It turned out the man was kind but firm about Mike’s lying. Mike said after that he would never lie again. I learned that telling the truth was a lot better than the shame Mike had to go through that week.
Do you allow shame to teach your kids’ life lessons that can shape their character? We know parents don’t want their child to get hurt emotionally or they don’t want them to have to go through that kind of pain. When we look back at our lives however, we can see the pain we went through and how it taught us life lessons and shaped our character to be the person we are today. In the same way, for our kids to mature and grow in Godly character we need to allow them to learn from the choices they make as our Heavenly Father teaches them to follow Him.
A friend was sharing with me about a coworker, a brother in the Lord who was using his computer at work to look at things that he knew he shouldn’t be looking at anywhere, much less at his place of work. He was immediately fired from a job that would lead him into his lifelong dream career. He was depressed over the death of his plans but had no regrets about what he was looking at. It was just pictures after all. I wondered if his parents made him deal with the shame of his actions growing up because what he was looking at on his computer was shameful. Unfortunately, he only felt sorry for himself because of his job situation, not because of what he was looking at.
Do you take your kids to school when they are late getting ready in the morning and miss the bus? Why not let them be late? The shame of getting a tardy and eventually a detention should embarrass them enough to get up on time. Do you lie to cover up your kid’s ugly behavior?
What kinds of things do you let your kids off the hook for now that they need to learn from so they won’t have to learn that lesson tomorrow from someone else?
shame: a feeling of guilt, regret, or sadness that you have
because you know you have done something wrong; disgrace