Part of my sense of self is knowing that I am a good parent. As our children become more independent and venture away from the nest, they make their own choices. They have the ability to decide whether to conform to the social norms and expectations. They sometimes lose their way and impulses take over. They make mistakes-big and small. It is as much a part of childhood as going to the playground. Yet, what we do in response to these mistakes is often overlooked. We, as the level headed adult, get to decide how the next part of the story plays out. Admittedly, sometimes we react, raise our voices, and we can take a situation to another level.
Do you react to your child instead of thinking about the life lesson embedded in this experience? I think it is sometimes hard not to just react. I am busy. I am juggling many balls in the air in the hopes that none of them will drop. But does my need to get things done mean that my children cannot make mistakes?
Mistakes are proof that you are trying. Mistakes come in many shapes and sizes. Mistakes can be made at any age. Mistakes are learning opportunities.
Today I started the day with a smile. The kids were surprisingly happy as well. (We often begin school days with the unpleasant conversations of why life is not fair. But that was not our beginning today!) Undoubtedly, one of the balls will drop today and I am going to Embrace the Chaos. I am going to stay calm, not react, and see it as a learning opportunity and not a mistake. And I am going to tell my family why we need to approach things in this manner from now on. (Is this a lofty goal, perhaps.)
We are fast approaching Spring. The sun is shining, the snow is melting, and I am going to try my best to let my children take risks and make mistakes. And I am going to change the way I react to their mistakes and my own. Wish me luck!