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Parent Mistakes

Written by: Jennifer Wert, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

We make mistakes all day long. All of us. For some reason, parents often try to cover them up or downplay them. Growing up, I never once heard my parents apologize. This led me to distrust my own imperfections, be wary of owning my own faults and be uncomfortable with sorrys.


Today, in supporting parents’ outing themselves as real human beings, again and again, I encourage them to be more real. To raise authentic children, you’ve got to honestly share with them your mistakes.

Sometimes your mistakes are just silly. Other times they affect others and you need to make them right by admitting them and tending to those hurt by them. All of these experiences are worthy of example.


Your young ones see what you do when you flub up. They witness your ability to laugh at yourself (or not), how seriously you take things and when. They learn about humility, how to be in community with others and how to be accountable.


Kids need to see that their parents don’t have it all figured out. That you, too, are working all the time to do your best and still, frankly, miss the mark on a regular basis. To see that it can be uncomfortable, even for you, and that you’re still okay in the end. In fact, they’ll see that you’re always growing.


This is part of being human. And an especially important part of being a parent.


Just the other day a client shared this story. Her son leans his head forward during his frequent nosebleeds and it makes her crazy, as the blood gets literally all over the house! She’d told him a million times to lean his head back instead.


Finally, instead of ignoring her, he snapped, “My soccer coach says lean forward and I believe him!” She blurted that his coach was just plain wrong tired of his ‘know it all’ attitude.


Shortly thereafter, her husband handed her his phone with WebMD pulled up and guess what. The latest is in fact to lean one’s head forward. Her son had left for school. She felt terrible.


Her text: “I’m sorry I belittled your knowledge of nosebleeds. You’re right about leaning forward and I was wrong.”


That was it. Short. Straightforward. No big lecture or debrief.


His (unlikely immediate) response: “No problem. Thanks, Mom.”


These types of interactions, vulnerable and honest, lubricate relationships.


You’re ‘in relationship’ with your children, while also modeling HOW to be ‘in relationship’. They’re watching your every move. As you well know, strong, deep relationships involve mistakes, conflict, forgiveness and sincere apologies.


So, tell them about your flaws. Own when you act in a way you didn’t intend to. Reflect aloud about how making mistakes makes you feel. Apologize to your children. Apologize in front of them. Make it simple, yet heartfelt. The best part of making mistakes, after all, is the learning that goes with them.


Show them how much courage being vulnerable takes. And how much there is to learn.


At the end of the day, if you’re hiding your mistakes, you’re hiding part of yourself. And certainly in your most meaningful relationships, most importantly those with your children, you want to be all IN. All you. So, they can be all THEM.


You can also get connected to her social media accounts; Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn!


 

Jennifer Wert, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Professional Parent Coach, Jenn Wert, serves parents of young children around the globe who are looking for support in their conscious parenting. With a Master’s in Education, educator, and doula experience along with post-graduate social-emotional training, Jenn knows how to counsel parents who want to authentically communicate with their children. After decades of her own therapy, while concurrently working with many different family types, she brings honesty to her conversations and discernment to her listening that allows clients to grow. Jenn inspires parenting that is nurturing, true and transformative.

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