My husband and I are no longer in the trenches when it comes to parenting. Some days we are throwing the confetti over that fact. Other days I find myself wistfully looking at old photo albums ....but I have to admit, those times aren't as frequent as the confetti days. :)

 Now we get to sit back , reminisce and watch younger parents trudging and skipping down the path of parenting and I have noticed something that is sometimes missing , especially within the ranks of Christian parents.

What is this missing ingredient ? 

Let's face it, kids can be frustrating , trying, messy, whiney, loud, chaotic, troublesome, annoying ..and a whole lot more.
There is a reason for that - they are NOT little adults.
Parents however are.

That truth requires a very important ingredient or trait if you will for mom and dad to possess every single day.
A sense of humor....the ability to laugh now and then.

Parents. your kids most definitely need you to be in charge, consistent in discipline and the human authority in their lives. That truth is not even debatable or up for discussion. Along with that truth however is also their need to see you being human with them.

How often do your children see you smile at a silly mistake that they make ?
Do they see you laugh often ?
Do they feel the freedom to share with you something funny that happened in their day away from you?
Are they comfortable enough to tell you something that they did or that their friend did that might not be 100% correct but there is true humor in the situation ? - or are they afraid that you will lower the boom because you fail to see the humorous side of life ?
Can they crack a joke around you ? I don't mean something of a sinful or ugly nature but do they feel the freedom to let down at all with mom and dad ?

These are all crucially important questions folks. Your kids need to know that you are current, with it, fun loving, and NOT so out of touch and archaic that you would never  " get " them. Is your son 14 ? Well, then when he relays some goofy story about his friend breaking wind in class and is laughing wildly as he is telling you , laugh wildly right along with him. Don't launch into some long lecture about how rude and inappropriate it is for him to think that is funny. Let him know that he can be himself with you. 

Lighten up, chill out , relax a bit and be a soft place to fall for that kiddo of yours.

Right about now some readers who are parents are shaking their head back and forth at this blog thinking that I am advocating parental irresponsibility.

Hardly !

I am simply saying be REAL with your kids. Learn to enjoy them and let them see that you are not so stuffy, not so " parentally correct " that you cannot see the funny in life. They desperately need to see this in you. If they can't , they will begin to shut down and write you off as out of touch and humorless and you know what ? They would be right.

Our children make mistakes and sometimes we will win their heart through humor more than through discipline.
Next time your kiddo is being silly or sharing something funny with you - stop and think.
Ask yourself if you are wrapped too tight to enjoy a laugh with your child.
If you are, fix it.

You won't regret doing so.