Parents Are Allowed To Make Mistakes

Parents Are Allowed To Make Mistakes….

And so are their children..

KidSafe Parenting Articles Parenting Help   photo credit: opensourceway

KidSafe Parenting Articles Parenting Help

Admitting you were wrong and learning from mistakes – just might make you an approachable parent.

Lets face it – we are not perfect and we make mistakes. As adults and as parents we have all made our fair share of mistakes.  The thing is to learn from them, atone for them, apologize and then move on is the key. But as you read this blog think about this – do you let your child see your imperfections? Do you share with your children when you have made mistakes? Do you? Because the thing is our children are going to make mistakes as they grow up…I know its hard to hear but you nor your children are perfect – and quite frankly do you want them to be or think that they are – -think stepford children and I get the chills! But the thing is..if your children think you don’t make mistakes that you are “perfect” do you think they are going to come to you for help when they make one? Probably not! But if we haven’t convinced you yet keep reading as we explain one of our Cyber Bullying lessons:

In KidSafe when we teach about Bullying & Cyber Bullying we role play this situation:

I pretend (KidSafe Teacher) that I am a kid their age (they laugh at this) and I call up a few girls and say – we are at my house having a sleepover, we are laughing and having a great time and I take out my phone and start taking pictures with it. We all start posing and being goofy…I take a picture of one of my friends(I will call her Jill) without her knowing it – its an embarrassing picture and I decide to send it to boys in our class – who think its hilarious and (at this point I literally am walking around the room pointing to each student in the class saying you sent it to this friend and then you sent it – some I point to and say you deleted it because you thought it was embarrassing for your friend and didn’t want to be a part of it – but most kids in the class sent it. Then I say at school on Monday everyone is being kind of weird to Jill, they are laughing when she walks by and whispering.  Jill doesn’t understand what is happening and goes up to one of her close friends who got the picture but deleted it and asks what’s going on and her friend tells her I sent a picture of Jill that was embarrassing to everyone.

Then I ask the student (Jill) how are you feeling right now? She answers with a slew of feelings: Mad, sad, embarrassed, confused – I ask the class to raise a quiet hand and tell me how they would be feeling if it had happened to them, more feelings: weird, frustrated, angry…and so on. I ask the class how many of you here trust me now? No one raises their hand.  How many of you are now thinking if I did this to (Jill) I might do it to you? (they all raise their hand) How many of you want to be my friend ? (no one raises their hand) So I discuss consequences of actions, I made a stupid mistake, and I didn’t use my inner safety voice to stop and think about what I was doing before I did it – and now I lost my friends…no one trusts me…but what might be worse is that I have no one to talk to about it….Why? because my parents expect me to ALWAYS do the right thing…to NEVER make mistakes….so what do I do?

And this is where the learning begins for the students and we discuss how EVERYONE makes mistakes…but we need to learn from them, atone for them, say we are sorry and mean it and then move on – but this is the kicker your children need you to be able to process this with you – but if they feel like you won’t understand or they are scared because you are perfect – think they are going to come to you??

At the end of the day we all want to be that parent that our children will come to for help. Take sometime right now and really think about it…are you an approachable parent? Have your children ever witnessed you making a mistake and how you handled it. Children don’t do what we say..they do what we do. So be a great role model for your children.

Author: Sally Berenzweig MEd, MA

Share This Post On