In one sense at least, being a parent is no different to most things in life – we don’t get it right all of the time. Sometimes we make mistakes, say or do the wrong thing or inadvertently add to our children’s distress rather than taking it away.
So besides feeling guilty when that happens, what do you do? I can’t really remember how it went in my family but I seem to remember things not always being acknowledged, carrying on as though everything was normal until that really was the case. But I’d rather buck that trend, if it was a trend, so I acknowledge my mistakes and apologise to Tibbons.
That bit’s easy, what’s harder is not showing him how much I beat myself up about it, because that means trying not to be too hard on myself, which is something of a specialty of mine (the being hard on myself, not the trying not to be).
I want to show Tibbons that it’s okay to make mistakes, that it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, or unloveable, or that you’ve ruined everything, even if that’s how I sometimes feel when I get things wrong (not just with Tibbons).
So that means role-modelling the way I want Tibbons to handle his mistakes: being much kinder to myself, which is good but dishearteningly difficult!
How do you deal with mistakes in your household? Are your children old enough to recognise a mistake when they make it, or when you do? How do they handle it?