We teach our children to admit their mistakes and ask for forgiveness but all too often we are guilty of this one big fat mistake AFTER we discipline a child. And while it has been hard for me to learn, I have realized that fixing this mistake is the epitome of loving and trusting my child.
Let’s face it, we are moms but we aren’t perfect.
Sometimes I think the impossibility of attaining perfection is either the drive that keeps us going or the poison that keeps us down. Some days it’s both…
There are days I think I’m doing things pretty good…
and then there are days I feel I’m making one mistake after another. I forget my oldest daughter’s dentist appointment. My youngest needed class snacks for preschool and I drive up empty-handed. I yell at Hazel because she wasn’t getting her shoes on fast enough…when I curtly glance down to see her eyes filled with tears and struggling to tie her shoes as quickly as her 4 year old fingers can.
And I think…SOME DAYS I SUCK.
And so I apologize. I tell the girls I am sorry. I remind them I am human and even though they may think I do no wrong…I do.
WHAT IF I’M SORRY WASN’T THE END
But imagine for a moment, if, later in the day, I started to get frustrated and Hazel piped up and said “Mom, now don’t forget how this morning you got mad and yelled at me for something I really didn’t do. Don’t do that again Mom. Because that really hurt my feelings and you felt really bad about it. And I don’t want to go through all that again.”
How would that feel…How would you feel if the mistake you made and asked for forgiveness from was thrown up in your face like that stomach bug that your whole family caught last year?
What if no matter how much remorse you had and how badly you felt for what is an inevitable part of being a human and growing and learning, someone was there to remind you of your failing.
Now imagine you are 4…or 6…or dear God 16. And you’ve made a mistake.
You talked back. You drew on the wall with marker. You went to a party without asking your parents.
But you got in trouble. You realized you were in the wrong.
You accepted your punishment…a time-out. A missed playdate. Grounded for a week.
THE BIGGEST MISTAKE WE MAKE WHEN OUR KIDS ADMIT WRONGDOING
But then…a few days later…here I am. Hazel has the markers again and I remind her to not draw on the wall again because she did it last week and it really upset me.
Or I tell Hannah to not talk back to me again like she did before because she got in big trouble for that.
Or…I tell my teenager as she heads out the door with friends to not lie about where she’s going because it really made me mad last time and I want to be able to trust her.
Do you think my kids will feel forgiven? Trusted? Loved?
Or am I just the one who can’t let a mistake go?
HOW WERE YOU RAISED? AND HOW DID IT FEEL?
I think back to my own mom…who, I swear was born to raise children. She just always KNEW. Knew what to say. Knew how to treat us. Knew how to act…and more importantly react.
She still does.
I’ve learned so much from her but one lesson that has really stuck with me is how when I failed as a child (regardless of my age), she forgave me and never…and I mean NEVER…brought it back up again.
She knew that my apology and her forgiveness were the end of the story. She believed in me…believed that I was sorry. Believed that I had learned my lesson. And believed that I wouldn’t make the same mistake again.
Did I always prove her right? Most of the time. Not always – but most for sure.
But I can tell you that had she been there to remind me of my failings, it wouldn’t have made me make less mistakes.
It would have made me tell her less. Keep more secrets. Rely on her less. Find support in others (who wouldn’t have necessarily had my best interests at heart).
WHAT IS OUR END GOAL?
And when it comes to raising our children we need to ask ourselves this very important question:
Are we trying to show our children that we don’t forget their mistakes or are we trying to show our children that we love them and trust them to make the right choice next time?
I hope I’m doing the latter. Because I would hope that my children and my husband and my parents and my friends would do the same.
Because our job isn’t to raise perfect children…it’s to show them that we love them and trust them even when they aren’t.
If you liked this article, be sure to:
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: