(Part 2 0f 4. See Part 1 to read principles 1-3)
4. Be a Master of Reconciliation
How can we know if we are growing in our emotional maturity as a parent? There are several indicators—one of the more important being the ability to reconcile relationships after a confrontation. Whether in marriage or in raising your children—there are usually plenty of opportunities to put this principle into practice.
After a confrontation, the problem is not that we don’t know what to do. Rather, it’s a problem of either not knowing how to do it, or not wanting to do what you know you should do. It’s an obstacle of immaturity parents can’t afford to keep stumbling over.
Reconciliation is defined as the act of causing two people or groups to become friendly again after an argument or disagreement.
Notice it says, “the act of.” What is the action I need to take to cause my child and I to become friendly again? Well, I could write a whole other article on this one subject alone, but for our purposes here I’ll summarize the actions of reconciliation:
- If needed, take time to compose your emotions.
- Initiate the conversation in humility.
- Don’t get caught up on who is “right.” Winning an argument doesn’t usually build relationship or reconciliation.
- Seek to understand before you try to be understood.
- Admit your mistakes, apologize and ask for forgiveness.
- Accept their apology without judgment and freely forgive, whether you’ve been forgiven or not.
- Express an affectionate closure as appropriate (usually a handshake or hug).
Okay mom and dad—you know what to do, and now you know how to do it. All that’s left is the willingness to initiate the reconciliation needed. Don’t procrastinate. Act now!
Discussion question for others who read this blog: What have been some of the hardest issues you’ve had to reconcile with your children?
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