Provided by Parenting Power
Have you ever found yourself critiquing yourself repeatedly for a mistake you made a while ago? Perhaps you wish that you had used a better “comeback” or had been calm-cool-and-collected instead of out-of-control-heated-and-LOUD!
You are not alone! We all make mistakes in our interactions with other adults and especially in interactions with our kids. Mistakes happen, and provide learning opportunities. It’s up to us to take the opportunity and make the most of it. When we do, we likely won’t make that mistake again. This leaves room for us to make other mistakes instead.
So how do we learn from our mistakes? We look at what happened, what we might have wanted to have happen and then make a plan for what to do differently if the same situation occurs again. It’s pretty simple actually.
In her book, Powerful – Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility, Patty Mccord shares a technique for sharing honest concerns with co-workers. The exercise is called Start, Stop, Continue:
“Each person tells a colleague one thing they should start doing, one thing they should stop doing, and one thing they’re doing really well and should keep doing”
When we make a mistake, we can use this same exercise: What can I start to do differently? What can I stop doing and what am I doing well, because that can continue!
Then, we clear the slate and move on! There is no need to revisit this issue. If you need to apologize for your behaviour, take responsibility to do that and then give yourself the freedom to move forward.
The same thing is true for our kids. When they make mistakes, AND THEY WILL, allow them to own the behaviour, make amends if necessary, learn from the behaviour and then move on. There’s no need to remind your children of their mistakes. They are likely already doing so inside their own heads.
Allow your actions to teach your kids the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. There is no need to spend hour after hour looking back at what might have been or worrying into the future about the damage you may have caused. Taking responsibility and then letting go is what creates this freedom.
This week, ask yourself these questions:
Am I so worried about being a good parent that it’s getting in the way of my actual parenting?
What can I clear off of my slate or my child’s slate?
What am I doing well that I can continue?
Learn more from Julie and Gail at parentingpower.ca!