Speak It In Truth, Let It Go In Grace.

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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In past posts I've admittedly described myself and my wife as lecturers. Boy oh boy are we! Both of us are first children, originating from fairly vocal families, so we inherently tend to lecture our children when they screw up. We've discovered, however, and continue to learn, that there is a huge disadvantage to this. The more we lecture, the more disengaged our children become.

Our daughter wasn’t giving us the reaction we were looking for. Her attitude was terrible, and the way she was treating her brothers and sisters, not to mention us, was even worse. As she stood in our kitchen looking at us, with a blank expression, we lectured. And lectured. And lectured. We weren’t going to stop until she fell to her knees in repentance over her many sins of the day. Somewhere deep in our psyche we were looking for tears and brokenness, and a full-on act of contrition. She wasn’t budging.

The night ended with her stomping off to her room and us collapsing onto the sofa in complete frustration and anger. Nothing had changed. The next morning was only a continuation of the night before. We weren’t getting through. Our logical perspectives on the wrong-doings our daughter had committed were falling on deaf ears, or so we thought.

It was a few days later when she uttered words that made us both step back and check ourselves. She said, “I’m trying to listen to you both. It’s just that you keep on lecturing me and lecturing me. It makes me so frustrated that I stop listening and just wait for you to finish!”

Ouch! That was a punch to the gut. But, she was right.

In our attempt to squeeze remorse from our daughter, we had overdone it. She had checked out after our very first (solid) point. Could you blame her? We must have lectured for a solid 40 minutes. In retrospect, I would have checked out too. In fact, I think I did whenever my parents would do that to me growing up.

I must say, I get why parents lecture their children. It’s the same reason why we lecture ours: we’re looking for remorse. We want to see sorrow. We find parental satisfaction from humble repentance. However, that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes our children will show this but many times, they will not. That’s what we continue to learn from our children. The older they become, the more stubborn they become.

We have to remind ourselves of this often. This post is not being written from a “been-there-done-that-mastered-it” point of view. It’s coming from a “good-grief-you’d-think-I’d-have-learned-by-now” point of view. The ongoing challenge for us is this- speak what you’ve got to speak in truth, and then let it go in grace.

Speak it in truth:

You and I have a huge job as parents. We’re charged with guiding these little human beings into adulthood while making sure they don’t die, kill somebody or themselves, or wind up in jail, not to mention drink toilet bowl cleaner or eat from the dog’s dish. Big responsibility! We must speak truth to them even if it hurts. We must be forthcoming because our job is to protect and lead before it is ever to make happy and keep content. Therefore, when discipline needs to happen, or a wrong needs to be correct, you and I need to speak the truth to our children!

But then….we need to let it go in grace!

Say it once, and be done. Let it go and forgive. Extend grace. Restore! If your child continues to persist or do the opposite of what they were told, natural consequences (or the consequences you’ve outlined) come into play and need to be enforced. But nothing more needs to be spoken. Trust me, this is not easy! It’s not easy because, as a parent, you want to say more, and, you’ve lived enough life to have a really big perspective on things. The hardest thing to do is to stop speaking. But if you continue to lecture, your child will check out. Ours do. They will stop listening and miss the point altogether.

By speaking the truth and then letting it go in grace, you are doing 2 things: first, you are showing your children you love them, and, second, you are freeing them from the chains of their mistake. That’s a powerful lesson for them to experience and it’s a powerful move for you to make as a their parent. We understand the difficulty and the tension. We are still learning how to do this. But every time we succeed, stop lecturing, say things once, then extend grace, we see progress. And we even see full repentance at times, which is something a long lecture never produces!

Are you a lecturer when your children screw up? How difficult is it to stop and only say something once?

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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.