During the beginning of the school year, I forgot to throw in the cold portion of my daughter’s lunch one day. This meant she had a juice box, water, peanut butter crackers, grapes, a granola bar and a fruit leather. It seemed like a decent amount of food. In addition, she’s not a big eater. Thus, when she came home from school and said she ate lunch from the cafeteria because she was still hungry, I was appalled. I hadn’t packed my daughter enough food and she had to ask the lunch lady for more….and she didn’t have any money. For me, this was a big parenting fail. As a parent, it’s hard when we mess up. However, it’s important not to let your parenting mistakes affect your future. Here are a few tips on how to recover from your biggest parenting mistakes.
Learn Your Lesson
I’m not sure if my daughter was truly hungry or just wanted to eat pizza for lunch. I also don’t like to waste food. Yet, from that point on, I started packing her a bigger lunch. After all, I didn’t want my daughter to be hungry at school. I have decided that I would rather have my daughter have too much food than not enough. With any parenting mistake, it’s best to learn from your first mistake. Think about the series of events that lead to the incident and make a plan to prevent the same blunder.
Admit Your Mistake
As parents, we are supposed to lead through example. However, sometimes apologizing to your child is one of the hardest things for a parent to do. Saying you’re sorry, I love you and comforting your child can help ease the pain of your mistake.
Get to the Root of the Problem
In order to prevent history from repeating itself, you need to get to the root of the problem. In my case, I put a note on the door to remind myself to get certain food items. If you yelled or said something harsh to your child, you might focus on diffusing your anger or take steps to prevent yourself from reaching your stress threshold.
Give Your Kids Some Credit
Often times, children are more resilient and mature than we think. I have to give my daughter credit for going up and asking an adult if she could have something else to eat. Although I was embarrassed, I was somewhat proud that she was able to problem solve on her own. According to Dr. Heller, a licensed psychologist, “parents carry the after effects of most events longer than children.” In the case of losing your temper, if the incident “takes place in the context of reasonable parental love and enjoyment of your child, then you have no reason to worry that you have harmed your son or daughter by occasionally losing it.” While some parenting mistakes are bigger than others, many of our blunders are forgivable.
Some parenting mistakes may be too tough to handle on your own. Infidelity, substance abuse or negligence are all problems that may need third party intervention. Many churches or community programs offer support groups or divorce care for families.
Parents are human and, like all humans, we make mistakes. It’s how you recover and learn from your mistakes that will define your relationship with your children.
More from Melissa:
10 Life Skills All Children Should Learn
Inexpensive Activities for when Your Kids Are Driving You Crazy
Irritable Children? How to Banish a Case of the ‘Grumpies’ in Your Home