Sometimes it's really easy to criticize your own parenting. When you see your kids do something you don't want them to do, you may be tempted to blame yourself for their failure. The things you neglected to teach them suddenly become glaringly obvious and you regret that you didn't discipline them in the past for that one small thing that has now turned into something big. Sometimes the self-blame is deserved, but quite often it takes more than a little effort for lessons to sink into the minds of young children.
When you first discover the dreaded misdeed, you may lash out in anger or become disappointed in the kids and yourself. You may be tempted to give out more discipline to make up for the times you neglected it in the past. If there's anything that I am continually learning about parenting, it is this: Responding in anger only makes things worse.
Instead of getting angry when difficulty challenges your parenting, think of these interruptions as opportunities. When your kids screw up is when they need you most and their sinful natures have now given you an opportunity to live up to your calling as a parent. How will you respond? Will you see an opportunity to build a bridge to meet your child's need or will you react out of anger.
Sometimes opportunity involves loving discipline. Sometimes it involves listening to the needs of a child and sometimes it involves overwhelming forgiveness. Whatever the direction the opportunity may lead you in, don't let it pass by. Take advantage of the opportunities your kids give you to become a better parent. And if you feel like you have mastered the kids you have, try having another one. A whole new world of opportunities awaits!