It can be hard.
I am trying to go back in time and remember being a 12-year old, 8-year old, and 6-year old girl. The problem is that I did not have a relationship with Jesus at those times in my life. There were lies I believed and experiences I had back then that I still deal with the repercussions now. On the flip side, I don't want my kids to think they have to be perfect all the time. Yet, teaching them that almost invites an attitude of getting away with stuff because "I'm not perfect. I'm only human".
So, I'm learning to parent them with a message of mercy, grace and forgiveness. However, the bar is set very high. Things that most people think are no big deal (crude language, complaining, discouraging others) are a huge deal at our house! Sometimes when I am explaining to #1 that it is disrespectful to the teacher to pass notes in class, I can't help but wonder if I am the only parent telling their kids this! Or, are the parents talking and the kids tuning out? Again, I am a firm believer of lots of prayer and seeking wisdom from God on this whole "parenting trip" we're on! Thankfully, I see a desire in my kids to please God, which in turn pleases me. And, to be completely honest, most of their negative behavior is a reflection of The Husband's and my own weaknesses! I can tell you that when there are re-occurring problems, I need to start looking in my mirror and not just in my Bible for some answers. Many times I find my heart isn't in the right place and it sets off the rest of my family. Again, it is time to raise the bar, not just with my kids, but in my own life, as well.