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Practicing Forgiveness


Practice forgiveness.  It teaches your children the emotional freedom that comes with letting go of negative emotions.


Sounds simple, right?


And yet, people often struggle to forgive and forget…to just move on.  At times, people carry around negative feelings and emotions. Those feelings might fade into the background for a little while, but they are bound to return when a similar stressor strikes.


When couples return to the same argument week after week, they are holding onto something that prevents them from truly working through it.


When parents disagree on a parenting decision and resort to sarcasm or, even worse, yelling when the problem isn’t corrected, they are holding onto negative emotions associated with that decision.


Children watch our every move.  They listen every chance they get.  They might seem completely engrossed in a book, drawing, or board game, but they are listening and watching.  They are learning from us.


Just the other day, I decided to teach my five-year-old daughter my phone number.  She knows our address, right down to the zip code, but I had yet to teach her my phone number.  I didn’t even get through the area code before she rattled off my number, as if she’d been dialing it for years.


Wow!  I didn’t realize that you already knew my number!  You must really be paying close attention when I have to tell someone my number.


Well, I hear you say it on the phone sometimes so I decided to remember it.


I can count on one hand the number of times that I have made a phone call while she was just sitting around doing nothing.  Actually, I can count that on no hands.  It never happens.


She is always busy with a task when I make those kinds of calls.  And yet, she managed to memorize my number.


The point is, of course, that they are always listening.


They will listen if we choose to focus on the negative, and they will listen if choose to practice forgiveness.


Why not practice forgiveness whenever possible?


Forgiveness can be big or small.


When a person accidentally bumps into you and says, “excuse me”, you have the opportunity to react with frustration or react with forgiveness.  If no one is hurt, forgiveness seems the natural choice.


And with that simple act of forgiveness, your child learns that not every bump at the park is personal.  You really can brush yourself off and move on.


Sometimes forgiveness can be difficult, as is often the case when someone truly hurts your feelings.  Forgiveness won’t be instant when big feelings are involved, but that doesn’t mean that it never happens.  Sometimes, it simply takes time.


And with these larger acts of forgiveness, your child learns that family and friends are worth fighting for.  That turning your back forever doesn’t necessarily make the bad feelings go away.  And that sometimes patience is required to mend relationships.


Powerful lessons, both big and small.


Practice forgiveness.  It teaches your children the emotional freedom that comes with letting go of negative emotions.


How will you practice forgiveness today?


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Friday 10th of August 2012

Thank you for sharing - this was exactly what I needed to read today.

Edward P.

Thursday 9th of August 2012

How can you forgive someone who has brought so much devastation to your life, destroyed a relationship that has had so much invested in, and hurt others on the way. So many hurtful things have been said, so many false accusations have been made, a long relationship ending in a blink of an eye because of deception, spite, control issues, abusiveness that has been going on for so long by my Ex, concerning control issues abusive conduct and other forms of abuse that I and others have been a witness to, and also over whatever she says is "LAW" and when someone questions or challenges the validity of what she demmands, she goes into a tantrum and takes it out on everyone, in more ways than one believing that I was the cause of it all. When in all actually, there was a motive and a plan set in motion for this to happen. I sure hope she is happy with what she has done to the family and my God have mercy on her soul (I doubt It), but that's not for me to say. Is there no end to the deception in this world?

Ronni Keller

Thursday 9th of August 2012

That was so awesome! Something people really should just *know and do* but rarely think about like that! Thanks for reminding me today!

Multi-Testing Mommy

Thursday 9th of August 2012

I have a few dry erase sticky message boards on my kitchen wall - one of them says 'Forgive - yourself and others' - I truly believe that true forgiveness is a part of emotional well being! Teaching our children to say "I forgive you" when someone apologizes is the first step to teaching them forgiveness. Great post!

Amber @fourkidslatet

Thursday 9th of August 2012

This one hit home. I am holding on to *2* broken being family. I honestly wish it was as simple as just saying,"Ok. Enough. Let's be friends again." Because I would; but it's not. I agree, kids watch & listen to our every move. I guess I need to try to figure out how to better be an example in this case. Thanks for the reminder. :/