Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)
Exasperate v. \ig-ˈzas-pə-ˌrāt\
1. To excite the anger of: Enrage
2. To cause irritation or annoyance
From the home office in Pella, Iowa. Top Ten Ways I tried not to exasperate my children:
- Let them become who they are called to be, not who I wanted them to be.
- Be patient with their small mistakes and accidents. I make them too.
- Be patient with their big mistakes and accidents. I make them too.
- Expect progress, not perfection.
- Life is short: Enjoy letting them be children/teens/young adults with all the irritations, aggravations, lessons, and foibles. I’m the adult, and should be the one to understand that it’s a stage of life they are in and be patient with it.
- Found and complimented the beauty in who they were in the moment, refusing to tease or be critical of them in the awkward stage(s) they went through.
- Be critical of their behaviors, never of their person.
- Believe in and trust: Make my default answer “yes.”
- When angry or frustrated, express it appropriately. Sometimes yelling, ranting, and screaming are counter productive. Let silence do the heavy lifting.
- Forgive them, just as I have (and need to be) been forgiven.