I should probably rephrase that to trying to be a good parent because one doesn't really know how good of a parent they are/were until their children are grown.
Piper is two. And this age has a notorious nickname... "the terrible two's". I can see where this comes from. She is able to vocalize what she wants and she is in full control of her movements. Her emotions, however, are still very immature and rather than her controlling them, they control her. So, this means that breakdowns are inevitable. And because it is human nature to try and buck authority, she also sometimes disobeys mommy and daddy. This is where forgiveness comes into play.
When Piper gets in trouble for something, we always, always, ALWAYS make sure that after the punishment we do 3 things:
1. Ask her why she got in trouble. If she can't answer, we explain it to her
2. Tell her mommy or daddy are not mad at her, we forgive her, and we tell her that we love her very, very much.
3. Ask her for a hug and a kiss
If her crime was committed against someone else, we make her apologize to the other person and give them a hug.
I'm am in no way, shape, or form trying to say that this is the way that all parents should act. It works for us and that is what is important.
But the point of this whole post is this.
Piper got in trouble for covering up Colbie's head with a blanket. This is a major no no in our house because I have caught her taking freezer bags out of a drawer and placing them on Colbie's head. Since I am not a big fan of either one of my children suffocating, nothing is allowed to cover Colbie's face. So, anyway, Piper put the blanket over Colbie's head and when I told her to remove it she just sat there and looked at me. In defiance. So, I had to punish her. When the punishment was over, the conversation went like this.
Piper, smiling: "Mommy not mad."
Me: "No, mommy's not mad."
Piper, still smiling: "Daddy not mad."
Me:"No, daddy's not mad."
Piper: "Piper not mad. Sorry Colbie."
So, in essence, I think she gets it. We don't punish her because we are angry and we let it go/forgive her as soon as it is over. And the most important thing of all is that we love her.
Ask me in 20 years how this worked out for us. I pray daily that God will give me wisdom when it comes to raising my children. And if you are reading this and are an experience parent, any helpful suggestions would be welcomed!