Kids are going to screw up at some point in their lives, as parents how we react will determine a lot. How are you going to react when your kid screws up?
Life UnEdited #32
Kids are Going to Screw Up, It’s What You Do at that Point That Matters
The other day Ty and I were driving in the car. As we drove we began reminiscing about when we were in high school and how much it has changed from then to now.
The conversation was sparked by us talking about Colby going to homecoming this year. He bought his ticket with his hard-earned babysitting money. Yes, he totally babysits.
He is going to homecoming with a couple of good friends because most of his friends are riding together on the party bus.
I remember my homecoming days when you would go hang out and dance with your date. The worst thing you might have seen was someone making out in the corner or sitting on a guy’s lap.
Whereas now you go and see your fair share of making out and bumping and grinding. You might also see some illegal activities happening in the corner or in the bathroom. And you just hope and pray that your child is not participating.
As a mom, this scares me. Like literally scares the crap out of me… So much that I even offered to buy his ticket back from him and do something really fun as a family, no matter what the cost… But he still insisted that he go.
I recall getting the talks about drugs, alcohol, and sex from my parents. They were basic and they basically consisted of just don’t do it. “You will hear about kids doing it… Just don’t be around it. Don’t be where they are.”
Now the talk goes something like this:
“You will see kids making bad choices. They will do drugs at school in the bathrooms. You might see kids doing some inappropriate things. At some point, they will ask you to do it. It’s important to not make those choices, but if you do, you need to tell me. You need to tell me because I can help you! If you make a bad choice you need to let me help you.”
Saying those words scare me. Never once did I ever want to have to say them. My whole life I have always wanted to say, “just don’t do it” and have that be enough. But it’s not enough anymore.
As parents now we need to have our kids know that they can come to us if they screw up. Because let’s be honest all kids are going to screw up at some point in their life. We need to make sure our kids don’t live in fear of us finding out and trying desperately to hide it from us. It scares me more having them hide their bad choices from me than them actually screwing up.
Parents, we need to know that kids are going to screw up, but it’s what happens next that matters
Part of parenting is realizing that our kids are going to screw up. In fact, kids are going to screw up, a lot. Sometimes it will be big and most of the time it will be small. They will say stupid things to other kids, they will make poor judgment calls and an array of other things.
Our job as parents when these mistakes happen is not to be a helicopter parent and swoop in and fix their problems for them. Our job is also not to be overbearing and come in screaming and yelling and tell them how stupid they are for their mistake.
Our job is to teach them to get back up and try again. Our job is to lead and guide them to make better choices in the future. Our job is to love them through the pain of watching them fail and make mistakes. As parents, we need them to know that no matter what we can figure this out together. Yes, of course, there should be punishments when mistakes happen. But be gentle and loving. We do this so they will tell us when they need help. To tell us when they make mistakes.
If we come in guns a blazing when they make bad choices they will try everything to hide that bad choice from us. So be soft and gentle when correcting mistakes.
How can we help our kids when they screw up?
One of the biggest ways we can show love to our child is how we react when they make mistakes. All kids are going to screw up at some point.
So as parents stay present in their lives. Teach them to make good choices. (Yes, I tell my kids that everytime they leave me.) Teach them to know that you are always there for them no matter what. Praise them for telling you about the mistakes they make. And regardless of what they do love them and do everything you can do to help them!
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Michele is a Family Life Educator. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!