The God With Us Podcast

When We Fail As Parents (Parenting Mini-Series) (S1:E4)

December 16, 2019 Cyd & Geoff Holsclaw
The God With Us Podcast
When We Fail As Parents (Parenting Mini-Series) (S1:E4)
Chapters
The God With Us Podcast
When We Fail As Parents (Parenting Mini-Series) (S1:E4)
Dec 16, 2019
Cyd & Geoff Holsclaw

We all fail at parenting.  It is what you do next that makes all the difference!

So often we want to be the perfect parents. But the reality is that we aren't.  So what do you do when you blow it?

Cyd and Geoff talk about the process of rupture and repair while parenting.  Cyd talks about her own journey of repair (reconciliation) with her own father, and how God our faith is always ready to connect with us when we feel like failures as parents. 

Please join the God With Us Podcast Community(on Slack), where you'll get updates, resources, and be able to continue the conversation, and even help us plan future episodes.

Show Notes Transcript

We all fail at parenting.  It is what you do next that makes all the difference!

So often we want to be the perfect parents. But the reality is that we aren't.  So what do you do when you blow it?

Cyd and Geoff talk about the process of rupture and repair while parenting.  Cyd talks about her own journey of repair (reconciliation) with her own father, and how God our faith is always ready to connect with us when we feel like failures as parents. 

Please join the God With Us Podcast Community(on Slack), where you'll get updates, resources, and be able to continue the conversation, and even help us plan future episodes.

Geoff:

Wh's the metronome on? You can hear the metronome. Yes, I can hear the metronome. I don't know, but I don't want it. This is Cyd and Geoff Holsclaw and welcome to the G od with us podcast where we are exploring God's presence and purpose in everyday life. If you have trouble imagining how you can connect with God in your ordinary moments, then please join the conversation. We're glad to have y ou. A nd i f y ou wonder how can I join the conversation, you join at the bottom of the show notes, there's a link to the p odcast to the God with us podcast community where y ou also get an invitation to s elect channel. And that's how we have conversations and talk about episodes. So we've just, we're wrapping up a three part series on parenting and we kind of added a bonus episode on Mr. Rogers neighborhood, the movie and u m, but we wanted to talk about our new experiences as parents and how we've been parented by our parents and how God i s p arents t o t he d esk. So I'm going to hand it over to C IJ who's g oing t o kind of share her story. And her journey with her own dad and how that k inda maybe can help some of us think of our own stories.

Cyd:

Yeah, I just did it again. I started with, yeah. Again , uh, I think I do that every single time. You pass it off to me. So, right.

Geoff:

We're going to work on that podcasting handoff , but Hey, let's do it again. So tell us about your relationship with your dad.

Cyd:

I would love to, so when we were talking with Jen Corsi and with Megan dimmer, the topic came up that when there is pain caused in a relationship, especially in a parenting relationship, that it can be really traumatic for whoever was hurt in that process. And trauma is actually unprocessed pain. So we talked about the necessity of when a relationship has been ruptured or broken , uh , that it's the repair of that relationship that diminishes , um , any sense of trauma or when it's, when it's been processed well that it doesn't hang on and linger as lingering trauma. And as I was reflecting on those conversations, I thought about my experience with my dad. So five years ago, my dad and I had a conversation. We were snowed in at his house and there was literally nowhere anybody could go. And my dad sort of out of the blue had this conversation with me where he just said, you know, I think I verbally abused you as a kid. And I was really stunned when he said that because I don't know that I'd ever used those terms for what our relationship had been like. My dad had been a bachelor up until my mom married him and most of my mom's second marriage, my dad died when I was really young. And so my mom remarried and I was , uh , five or six. I'm not, I think I was five, almost six. And my dad had never had kids before. He'd never lived with anybody. And it was me and my sister. All of a sudden my sister's two and a half years older than me. And so suddenly being part of a family and I was a pretty rambunctious and energetic kid and I, I was, it was a struggle to learn how to , um , live with me at all. I'm sure, and then try to figure out the dynamics of parenting. Um, anyway, I'm not going to go into all the details there. Uh, but my dad had grown up with a dad who had used physical punishment , uh, rather than any sort of positive encouragement. And so he didn't really have any good role models for what it would look like to parent well , um , with love and with kindness and patience. Um , so he did the best he could, but it wasn't , uh, a great setup for either one of us. And so he did end up using a lot of words that were difficult and painful. And , um , I felt a lot of shame as a kid, but I would've never called it verbal abuse because I didn't really, it was my normal, so I didn't really think of it that way. But I remember when he talked to me about that , um, when I went away from that conversation, reflected on it because he had been willing to take ownership , um , for the pain. Uh , we've talked about attunement on these episodes a lot and even though my dad doesn't necessarily know attunement language and doesn't use that language, what he was saying to me in that conversation was, I see the pain that I have caused you and I get how big that is. And he actually , uh , in the middle of that conversation, he expressed his appreciation of me and how I hadn't given up on him. And I had continued to be in relationship with him even though it must've been painful for me. And he also really affirmed me , um , and encouraged me and, and , um, said some really great things about the woman that I have become. And so he was really attuning to me and saying, I see you. I hear it, I understand it. I know how big it is and I'm glad to be with you still. And I want to be better. I want to do better. I want to be for you. And he has been for me more in the last several years and we have really worked on a relationship and he has tried really hard to learn how to support me and encourage me. And um, it has made a big difference in the way that I look at my childhood. Now that doesn't mean that all of the pain of my childhood is gone. And I do talk about this in the book that is that we wrote together. Uh , does God really like me discovering the God who wants to be with us? Uh , it's coming out on January 21 but in chapter 14 , um , I do talk about the pain of those words and how those words stayed with me for so many years. Uh, but it makes a big difference that my dad has taken ownership for those words and he has recognized what that cost me. And he has made such an extreme effort to try to repair the damage. And so I just wanted to talk about that a little bit be cause that's how I've been parented. And in that act , um, my dad really humbled himself and really took the posture of moving toward me even though , um , the rupture had been sort of in his hands. And that really was an amazing thing for a man to do. And I've, I , I asked him recently, we just went out for breakfast , uh, last week and I asked him, dad, how did you come to that place? Like, what prompted you to do that? And he doesn't actually remember exactly, but he knows that it was part of , um, the work that he has been doing personally for years in his relationship with God and his relationship with others. And he just said, I , I don't really know exactly. I just came to the point where I realized that what I, what I had done as a dad for you, how I had treated you, it was just wrong. And I felt badly that I hadn't done more to try to , um, acknowledge that and take ownership of that earlier. And I didn't want to wait any longer. And that was just such good news too . I think it was good news that it's never too late. Like here I am. And that was in my, he did that. I was probably already 40 when we had that conversation and he realized it was never too late and he didn't want things to continue the way they were. And he took it upon himself to make the first move. And I just really so appreciate that he did that because it has helped me to understand that his heart toward me was never malicious. And instead it was just parenting out of a place of not having good role models for parenting himself.

Geoff:

Yeah. If you're in the car washing dishes or at the gym, like raise your hand if you feel like you've blown it as a parent, me , my head is up. Right. And we, we, we have those feelings and I think , um, the thing that we just want to encourage all of you with is that , um, even over the span of like a 20 year gap , um, that relationship can still be repaired as it was for you and your father said. And for others of us, you know, if we're on that side of having blown it, like we can still go and work toward reconciliation toward repairing those relationships. And I like the words that you said. You know, he humbled himself, you know, he confessed what happened and he asked for forgiveness. Um, and I think that whether it's you five minutes, you know, if something happened five minutes ago with your toddler, like you could still humble yourself and come to your toddler if it's your teenager, you know, whom you kind of gave a disproportionate consequence to because they did something and you kind of lost it and took the car away for a year or something like that. Right? You could still go and say, you know, I was pretty angry and like there still needs to be consequence , but we can ratchet down the year two a week or you know, or things like that and, and humble ourselves. Um , and I think the most beautiful thing is, is although God doesn't sin against us, God is always still the first one to make the motion to repair the relationship. A lot of times , um , we feel our spiritual lives that we have to do the first thing to come to God and then God responds to us. But that's , that's not true at all, right? Because God , when Adam and Eve had ruptured the relationship in the garden, God didn't wait for them to recognize it and to come to him and say they were sorry. Instead, God was the one who went to them. And , uh , did the work that needed to be done to set the stage for reconciliation that ultimately came in Christ and Christ moves toward us.

Cyd:

So God has already made the first move. God has already said, I am willing to repair this relationship. In fact, it's all I want is to repair this relationship. And so God has always made the first step. And we as parents can, we can, you know, God hasn't sinned against us and doesn't need to ask for forgiveness. But even when it's the kid who has sinned against us, we can still make the first step and we can still say, I am here. I want this relationship to be repaired and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to do that. And I want you to know that I am for you and I , that's not gonna change. And you can go ahead. And I , I think , um , there's some of us, you know, like I had , um , not an abusive father, but more of an absent father.

Geoff:

Um, and there was a point in my spiritual life where like God kind of directly was like, you need to understand that I'm your father. Like I , you know, I was very like, you know, I grew up like fundamentalist Bible Baptist. So it was all about Jesus and the blood and how Jesus has saved us. And I remember right around like 18 or 19, you know, God was just kinda like, yeah, yeah, yeah, Jesus loves you and you need to understand me as your father. And that was like, Oh, I , and I think God was trying to like parent me. And I think that there's many of us , um, who live in the , you know, the really hard situations where your parents are never going to come back to you and confess the wrong that they've done to you and that pain just sits there. Um, and I'm so sorry for that. Um , and that's hard to live through day by day. And God, our father is also still longing to parent us , still longing to come beside you to say, Hey, that was wrong. Right? I love you with the love that can ever, you know, be taken away and I want to flourish you and I want to be for you in these things. And so , um , God with us in the midst of our parenting failure as well as God with us in the midst of the failure to be parented properly , um, is good news that we could be called into a new family, right? And God wants to be the good, good fat . He is the good, good father. And so all of the troubles and hesitations that we have with our earthly fathers and all of the pains and all of the ruptures there, God is willing and able and wants to repair that relationship and wants to father you. Well, no matter what your fathering looked like. And so parenting is hard. Amen. It's so hard and those times when you're missing [inaudible] yeah, and so good too . But those times when you're misattuned where there's a rupture in the relationship, that's not the end of the world. And I'd sit there and beat yourself up for it instead, make the movement to repair it . And it's a matter of perspective and the resources that we've been given, like Sid's dad, you know, praise God. He didn't physically abuse you, right? And so in his mind, he's like, I'm doing a good job. He did better than his own. He's doing better than his own dad. I'm doing a good job. At least I'm not hitting my kids. Um, but then later he said, but , but I didn't do a good enough job. Yeah . You know , it wasn't right. And we're all gonna be in those places where, you know, we look to the examples around us and we're like, we're doing a good job. And then later we might be like, Oh, I still failed my kids. Well, that's going to happen. And it's never too late to have that conversation. Amen. And God has grace for all of us. Um, and God's at work in these things. And even when we feel like we've broken our kids, amen. That we have not because God loves our kids even more than he cares more about them than we do. So do you have any last thoughts? We're going to keep this one a short and sweet episode, but do you have any last thoughts, comments, lingering questions? Dude , just dad, if you're listening. Thank you. Thank you so much. Amen. Amen. Well, thank you all. Um, and um , we would love to hear your thoughts on the Slack channel or the God with this , um , podcast community. You know , uh , you could find us on if you're hea ring us kind of through a Facebook link or something like that, you can find us through iTunes. You could search us on Spotify, the God with this podcast. Sometimes you have to add our last name Holtzclaw to find it a little quicker cause we're not ranked on that algorithm, you know, very highly yet that by writing us. Wonderful, well done there. Um , and subscribing and telling all your friends. Amen. Uh, we're kind of running into the holiday season, but we're, we have some, a mini series on where is God in pain , um, as well as conflict , uh , God with us in the midst of conflict and other things like that as well as prayer. Like how does prayer work? Prayer is difficult. So we're going to have , uh , three or four episodes on prayer. So those will be coming up soon. Uh , thanks again for being with us and we'll talk to you later. [inaudible] .