Mistakes are how we learn

Posted by Samantha on March 7, 2011 in Thought for the day |

The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.

John Powell, British composer (b.1963)

 

Wouldn’t it be great if we felt like we had permission all the time, to think that our kids are wonderful?

I don’t mean that I want to become the kind of parent who thinks my kids can do no wrong.  I just wish that parents could be freed from the pressure to have children who don’t make mistakes all the time.

I deplore that our culture behaves as though children must “be good” all the time or else there must be something wrong with either the children or the parents.

Children make mistakes.  Parents make mistakes.  We have good days and bad days.  We feel up.  We feel down.  We get hurt and disappointed and frustrated and embarrassed and irritated and sad.  And sometimes those feelings mean that we behave in ways that society finds awkward and would prefer not to deal with.

We cry, we shout, we bawl, we whinge, we moan, we grumble, we complain.  When the feeling passes, so does the behaviour that goes along with it.

It can be really hard to remember how much you love that little person when they’re throwing a strop and covered in snot from all the crying.  It’s difficult not to get embarrassed when your older child has a lapse in manners in public.  These things are not the end of the world.  And it certainly doesn’t mean that your children are not wonderful.

They’re just as beautiful after that lapse as they were before.

Just as your parenting mistakes don’t make you a bad parent or a bad person, your children’s mistakes do not make them bad children.  Those mistakes just are.  Nobody is perfect.  We are all human and that makes us perfectly imperfect.

If I make a mistake I try to let it go.  If my children make a mistake I try to let it go.  If someone else thinks that I “shouldn’t have” or my children “should have” I like to remind myself that what that person thinks of me or my kids is none of my business.

I know that a mistake is an opportunity to learn. A mistake doesn’t mean that anyone is “wrong”.

Today, I want to remember that my children are wonderful, mistakes and all.  They are exactly as they are meant to be.  Perfectly imperfect.

 

 

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