In the next several weeks, we are going to look at some of the different mistakes that parents make. Whether your child was just born, or you have older children, we all make our fair share of mistakes. As men, we HATE to admit our mistakes whether that’s with our marriage or with our children. Making mistakes is how we learn, grow and become better parenting. Without making these mistakes, we cannot grow, learn or become the type of parents that we need to be. Being a parent is about more than making the mistakes, it is also about admitting them to our spouse and children. As a father, I make mistakes daily and usually end up having to apologize to my children at least every week. While a lot of parents see this as a sign of weakness, this could not be further from the truth.
As an adult, I know my parents made mistakes and there were times that they felt like they needed to tell my sister and I that they were sorry. I tend to take a directed approach in that when I make mistakes, I admit it and tell my children that I was wrong first. The next thing I do is to tell them that I am sorry. This does not make me weak but instead shows my children that I make mistakes and allows them a chance to forgive me. My style of parenting places both of my children and I on a level where they hold value. I am not perfect. I am not above making mistakes.
When we parent with the attitude; I’m right and your wrong, we draw a line in the sand, showing our children that we are liars and hypocrites. A lot of adults tell their children, do as a say and not as I do, which makes us liars. As soon as someone is labeled a liar, the parent loses all credibility, which places space between us and our children.
When we place this type of space between us and our children, they will start looking for a place to belong (a gang) or someone else that they can trust. This can include the media, movies, music, and other forms of authority. As parents, we need to understand that making mistakes is ok. It is ok to NOT be perfect. Perfect parenting does NOT work. Being your child’s friend does NOT work. Being a good parent who shows their children their value and admitting mistakes DOES work.
As we take some time and look at common mistakes that parents make, we can take this information and learn from it. If these mistakes are something that you are currently struggling with, let us know. We are here to help. If you are making these mistakes currently, it is never too late to admit that you were wrong and change the type of relationship that you have with your children.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you have made with your children? How have you learned from them?
Previously published here and reprinted with the author’s permission.