A Work in Progress

 How you view your children and what you think about correction can help you stay calm when things get tough. Imagine a car dealership where a man named Martin works in the showroom. Martin shows cars to prospective customers. If he sees a car without a door, he’s surprised and upset. He doesn’t expect to see defects. Cars in the showroom are supposed to be finished. 

Bill, on the other hand, works in the factory and inspects cars for flaws and missing parts. It’s his job to find problems and fix them. In fact, Bill is prepared with a number of routines depending on the nature of the problem. If a door is missing, Bill doesn’t get upset; he just goes through his routine of obtaining a door and putting it on. 

Bill knows that when a car is on the production line it requires continual work. Doors are added, pieces are put together, and workers are continually looking for ways to improve the product.

Viewing your children as works in progress instead of as finished products can help you respond to them without harshness or frustration. Like Bill, you can view problems as opportunities. Misbehavior and relational struggles are indicators of where your child needs help to grow and mature. 

Parents are often frustrated by the continual need for correction and the endless number of mistakes that children make. If you can remember that your children are on the production line instead of in the showroom, your expectations will lead you to solutions instead of to anger.

The Apostle Paul knew that his readers were works in progress when he said in Philippians 1:6, “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” God is also at work in your children and sometimes it takes time to see progress.

This parenting tip comes from the book, Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids, by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.