Making Mistakes

Making mistakes is easy to do, hard to admit. What is it that makes it so awfully hard for us to simply admit when we have made a mistake and move on? Pride is one of the barriers that keeps us from being able to accept when we have made a slight error. Our pride tells us that we could not possibly have been so stupid, or forgetful, or gullible, or whatever negative characteristic we think applies to the situation. Because we find it so intolerable to think of ourselves as stupid, we have trouble admitting to the mistake. Instead, we seek to ignore it, cover it up, or blame it on someone else to avoid having to label ourselves negatively. This is where me make another mistake! Doing one small thing that might actually be stupid or gullible does not make us entirely stupid or gullible. It just means that perhaps one or two of the thousands of decisions we have made were not that great. However, the other 2598 decisions we made that week probably just fine and we forget to acknowledge that fact when we busy being embarrassed over a mistake.

Another barrier some parents encounter in admitting mistakes is the false notion that it’s not good for kids to see parents make mistakes. Many parents think that it will make a child think very poorly of a parent to see a parent make errors. On the contrary, the parent is going to make the errors no matter what. Each parent is human and they will simply make mistakes like all humans do. However, when they seek to ignore, cover up, or blame their mistakes on others, they are teaching their children to do the same, which is yet another mistake! Kids are going to make mistakes just like their parents do and when they make mistakes, they need to know what to do. They need to see their parents model for them the process of 1) acknowledging the mistake, 2) apologizing to anyone who got hurt or inconvenienced, 3) fixing anything that got hurt or damaged, and 4) making a plan for how to avoid that mistake in the future.

I’ve got news for you, parents, your kids SEE the mistakes you make. It’s best to just admit them, apologize, fix it, plan to avoid it in the future and move on. Your kids will respect that much more than when they see you try to pretend like you never make mistakes. By doing that, you will teach them how to handle their mistakes appropriately and take that skill into adulthood.

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