By Rachel Paxton
Do you ever talk to your children about your failings? About your sometimes unenlightened decisions? I was raised with a distorted view that life is just something that happens to you, and not a reality that is formed, in part, by your everyday decisions.
When you don’t evaluate the impact your decisions have on your life, you are lacking a skill that your children will never learn other than by example.
When you make a decision that negatively affects your life or the lives of others, be the first to admit it. Admit your mistake and resolve to handle any resulting consequences of your actions.
Sound simple? It really is. It takes a little practice and a humble spirit, but you will be teaching your children a very important lesson: how to honor others.
When you don’t deal with the consequences of your actions and don’t admit your failings, your children will get one or more of the following messages:
– adults don’t make mistakes
– when something goes wrong in my life it is someone else’s fault
– if I make a poor choice and don’t own up to it I am not accountable for it
Is this the message you want to send your child? Talk to your children when you’ve made a decision you could have maybe handled differently. Ask them their opinion on what they would have done in your situation and how they would have handled it differently.
Of course you can also do this when your children make poor choices of their own. But failing to share your own mistakes (after you’ve owned up to them) shows your children that adults, too, make mistakes. The goal is not to grow up to be someone who always makes the right decision (easy to mistakenly believe), but someone who takes responsibility for their own actions, whatever the cost.