"I just keep disappointing you! (Sobs) I keep forgetting to do what you say."
"Do you want to hear what I have to say about that?" (She nods)
"You have never disappointed me, not one day in your entire life. It is my job to teach you how to be a grown up. I expect you to make mistakes. I will make mistakes, too. But this is what moms and dads do, we get you ready to go out into the world and lead your own life."
Now, I may have wrapped up this little scenario decently, but it was our frustration and emotional outburst that sent her the message that we were disappointed in her in the first place. We blew it. It was our choice to keep asking over and over again for her to do something, instead of just acting on it. It is a cycle we parents are really good at setting up, and then, we want to punish our kids for it, because we HAVE HAD IT. If I have repeated myself over and over again, and because of that, am now so frustrated that my emotions are leaking out all over the place, guess who's fault that is?
MINE. If I had handled the issue the first time, while I was still calm, my child wouldn't be crying and saying she is a "disappointment" to me.
I know this stuff! And yet, I still struggle. My spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak...and tired of serving...and needs regular reminders. I wish there was some sort of parenting site that could help me stay focused and remind me of this stuff...