Remember when you were a kid? When you made a mistake, you could always ask for a do over. That meant you could try the same thing over again and try to get it right the second time. Whether you call it a mulligan, a second chance or another shot, it meant getting grace from the people around you to give it another try.
The new year is almost upon us. Some of us need a do over particularly as parents. We aren’t perfect. We make mistakes. But we have the chance to try again to make it right. At this time of change as the old passes into the new, let us take this chance to strive to be a better parent in 2019. This doesn’t mean we cannot make mistakes. It will mean though that we are going to keep trying to get better even when we do make mistakes.
I would encourage you to give your child the same grace you offer yourself. Children have the task of learning as they grow up. The only way all of us really learn effectively is to make mistakes.
Think back on the difficult situations you have overcome over the years. I can guarantee you most of the learning you did was dealing with adversity and setbacks and how you overcame those challenges rather than being defeated by them.
We sometimes forget as parents the process we went through to learn. We had to make many mistakes before we learned the lessons necessary to move us forward into our adult life.
That is not to say that you should accept all your child’s mistakes without a response. More often than not though, I see parents jump to emotional reactions to mistakes their children make without carefully thinking through what an appropriate response would be given the situation.
One of the most helpful ways to avoid this trap is to give yourself the gift of time. What this means is when mistakes happen and issues need to be dealt with, give yourself the ability to have some time to think through how you want to respond rather than emotionally reacting in the moment. As I’ve talked about a numerous times on this blog, when we are reactive in our responses we do not bring our best selves to our children as parents.
The ability to take a break, think through a response, and deliver it in a much more effective manner is the way you will help your children learn the lessons they need to particularly when they need a do over.
Here’s to the do over that is 2019. Have a great year!