Posted by Leora on November 15, 2003 at 10:47:15:
In Reply to: Spanking posted by Mark on November 14, 2003 at 03:09:24:
Hey Dad, How do You Handle Your Kids Mistakes?
One of the most difficult parts of being a father is learning to accept your
children's mistakes. It certainly can be easy to be loving, supportive, and
helpful when your children are mistake-free, but most fathers who are paying
attention don't find too many mistake-free periods of their children's lives.
Let's be clear about our kids and their mistakes. There aren't too many kids who
get up in the morning, rub their hands together and say, "I wonder how I can
screw up today and really bother my dad!" Kids don't enjoy or want to make
mistakes, it's just one of the ways that they learn about the world.
Kids usually try to do their best; but they're doing their best considering the
resources they have at the time. Sometimes they're tired, sometimes they're
easily distracted, and sometimes they're strong-willed, but they generally do
the best they can. It's quite easy for us to unfairly judge them according to
their best efforts in the past.
When our kids make mistakes, we have choices to make. Fathers can either make
choices that help to create kids who are defensive and who lie to them - or they
can make choices that help to create kids who can learn from their mistakes and
improve upon them.
Kids who fear punishment or the loss of love in response to their mistakes learn
to hide their mistakes. These children live in two different places - one place
where they have the love and support of their father (parents), and another
where they feel that if their mistakes were discovered, they would be
undeserving of that love. It's hard for these kids to fully accept their
parents' love and support even when it is expressed. It's also difficult for
these kids to set high standards for themselves, because they tend to be fearful
These are some ideas for fathers who are committed to helping create kids who
can learn from their mistakes, and who are not afraid of making a few:
Absolutely accept the notion that your kids are doing their best, and that
they'll learn faster about their mistakes if they are in an environment that
Understand that your difficulty with your kids' mistakes is in fact a reflection
of your difficulty dealing with your own mistakes; be aware of this and deal
with your own issues first.
We only have one chance to show our kids the patience and discipline necessary
to allow them to learn from the mistakes that we've all made. Your opportunity
to improve just started now; give your kids the room that they need and deserve.
The author, Mark Brandenburg MA, CPCC, is a certified personal coach, father,
speaker, and workshop leader who helps men to create balance in their lives and
to immediately improve their family relationships, guaranteed! : What are your views? Honest answers please.