You'd think with 26 years of experience that I would have mastered some basic parenting competencies. I'm confronted with the selfishness of my parenting style today. I exercise parental authority (or try to) based on specific outcomes and expectations. For instance: when my child is asked to perform a certain task and they do not accomplish the task acceptably - loading the dishwasher does not mean putting unscraped, unrinsed dishes in the machine haphazardly and then closing the door - I see that as a personal affront, rather than a job poorly done.
Why am I so offended, why do I see complete high-handed rebellion in my child's actions? Because that is what I have in my own heart. I am most repulsed by my own sin patterns - when they appear in other people!
I don't see a child in need of training, love and encouragement; I see a child who has failed to meet my own needs for order and peace. And this is scary, because there is a battle going on for the heart and soul of my child, and I need to be his ally and protector, rather than his adversary. Oh, there is so much to work on - not so much with him, as with me.