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The Secret Parents Don't Want Their Kids to Know

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By Jim Daly, CP Contributor
April 8, 2013|10:01 am

Children, please turn away from the computer.

Here's the secret: moms and dads aren't perfect.

Sometimes we hurt our kids' feelings with the things we say, often without even knowing it.

Authors Tim and Darcy Kimmel wanted to be sure to deal with any resentment their actions caused, so they did something brave. They created a safe opportunity for their children to be completely candid and to point out areas where mom and dad weren't "practicing what they preached."

And this is how "What's Your Beef?" nights began at the Kimmel home.

It worked like this:

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After eating a special dinner, the kids were asked to share anything weighing on their hearts -- things Tim and Darcy had done or said that had embarrassed, disappointed, or hurt them. And here's the even harder part -- Tim and Darcy wouldn't defend themselves.

Instead, they'd own their mistakes, apologize for the pain they'd caused, and ask for forgiveness when appropriate. This couldn't have been easy. But it opened the doors of communication wide and ensured that no bitterness would ever have a chance to take root in their children's hearts.

If you're a mom or dad, are there things you've said or done that may be weighing on your kids' minds? If you're not sure, take a deep breath and ask them. Then think about having a "What's Your Beef?" night at your house.

Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family and host of its National Radio Hall of Fame-honored daily broadcast, heard by more than 2.9 million listeners a week on more than 1,000 radio stations across the U.S.

Follow Jim Daly on Twitter @Dalyfocus

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