Dads, Handle your Kids Mistakes

One of the most difficult parts of being a father is learning to accept your children's mistakes. It certainly can be easy to be loving, supportive, and helpful when your children are mistake-free, but most fathers who are paying attention don't find too many mistake-free periods of their

children's lives.

Let's be clear about our kids and their mistakes. There aren't too many kids who get up in the morning, rub their hands together and say," I wonder how I can screw up today and really bother my dad!" Kids don't enjoy or want to make mistakes, it's just one of the ways that they learn about the world.

Kids usually try to do their best; but they're doing their best considering the resources they have at the time. Sometimes they're tired, sometimes they're easily distracted, and sometimes they're strong-willed, but they generally do the best they can. It's quite easy for us to unfairly judge them according to their best efforts in the past.

When our kids make mistakes, we have choices to make. Fathers can either make choices that help to create kids who are defensive and who lie to them ?or they can make choices that help to create kids who can learn from their mistakes and improve upon them.

Kids who fear punishment or the loss of love in response to their mistakes learn to hide their mistakes. These children live in two different places--one place where they have the love and support of their father (parents), and another where they feel that if their mistakes were discovered, they would be undeserving of that love. It's hard for these kids to fully accept their parents' love and support even when it is expressed. It's also difficult for these kids to set high standards for themselves, because they tend to be fearful of failing.

These are some ideas for fathers who are committed to helping create kids who can learn from their mistakes, and who are not afraid of making a few:

Absolutely accept the notion that your kids are doing their best, and that they'll learn faster about their mistakes if they are in an environment that accepts mistakes.

Understand that your difficulty with your kids' mistakes is in fact a reflection of your difficulty dealing with your own mistakes; be aware of this and deal with your own issues first.

Know the shaming messages that we can all give so easily to our kids--messages that can do a lot of damage to them and help them to feel unworthy. Here's a few of them:

- How could you have done that?

- You don't listen to me!

- You can do better than that!

- What's the matter with you?

Keep providing your kids with learning experiences, but at the same time structure their environment so they can't make too many mistakes (having expensive glassware around the house where children might break it is not their fault).

Provide a great model for your children by the way you react to making mistakes: do you get defensive and stretch the truth, or do you own the mistake and learn something from it? Create a culture that's based on learning from mistakes.

We only have one chance to show our kids the patience and discipline necessary to allow them to learn from the mistakes that we've all made. Your opportunity to improve just started now; give your kids the room that they need and deserve.

Mark Brandenburg MA, CPCC, coaches busy parents by phone to balance their life and improve their family relationships. For a FREE twenty minute sample session by phone; ebooks, courses, articles, and a FREE newsletter, go to http://www.markbrandenburg.com. or email him at mark@markbrandenburg.com.

In The News:


INFORUM

Parenting Perspectives: Parenting a struggle between savoring season ...
INFORUM
Bake cookies. Watch “Elf.” Visit Santa. It was a suggestion I'd read in a parenting magazine. The idea is to prioritize – to focus on the activities we truly love and cut the clutter from our Christmas calendar. But I ended up treating those priorities ...


Treehugger

Study links certain parenting tactics to increased materialism later in life
Treehugger
The manipulation of material objects as a parenting tactic can lead to kids having certain issues later on in life. The researchers, who surveyed more than 700 adults about their childhood circumstances, relationships with parents, and types of ...


The News-Press

Parenting: Generous acts and parent failures
The News-Press
Or subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter at news-press.com/swflpcnewsletter. In the December issue, you'll find our 2014 holiday gift guide full of great ideas for kids of all ages, a secret for creating incredible holiday appetizers, parenting lessons ...


Funniest Parenting Tweets: What Moms And Dads Said On Twitter This Week
Huffington Post
Our guest curator this week is Kate Hall, co-editor (with Science of Parenthood's Norine Dworkin-McDaniel and Jessica Ziegler) of The Big Book of Parenting Tweets. Kate also blogs at Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine? and right here on HuffPost Parents.


Thoughtful Parenting: Ready to read
Steamboat Pilot & Today
#A child cuddles with a parent while listening to the words and seeing the images in a storybook. This activity is one of the most important to introduce a child to the world of reading. It can begin as soon as your child is born. Most avid readers ...

and more »

What Parenting Really Looks Like
POPSUGAR
Rather, she's inspired by the truth that is parenting. "This is real, this is life, this is parenting. Parenting is so ugly, but there are moments that are so beautiful. Just when you think you have it under control and you're like, 'Oh, yeah, this is ...

and more »

Dr. Randy Cale's Terrific Parenting column: A better holiday: Three mistakes ...
Troy Record
It's that wonderful time of the year and you're already stressed. While the holidays for most are a time of joy, the demands often create a sense of stress that compromises our joy and perhaps our parenting. It's then easy to bring this stress down ...

and more »

Americans are obsessed with parenting advice. So why are our kids so miserable?
Washington Post
Americans are obsessed with parenting advice. Bloggers, magazines, whole Web sites urge us to do more. Or less. Be more Chinese, they implore. Or more French. But despite this constant flow of advice, we have very little idea how to make kids happy.


Slate Magazine (blog)

When Did Having Kids Become a Luxury?
Slate Magazine (blog)
Blue Families, they described the blue state model of parenting as the kind where people defer child rearing until “both partners reach maturity and financial independence.” Red families have a different model—they promote abstinence until marriage ...


Huffington Post

'Best Case Scenario' Photo Series Captures The Imperfect But Glorious Mess ...
Huffington Post
"So many parents love supporting the realism behind parenting and finding a comedy in it all," Guenther said. "Parents really do have the best sense of humor behind closed doors!" The photographer meets with families to learn their stories and see the ...

Google News

How to Stop Bad Behavior Before it Starts

Coping with a child's bad behavior, perhaps more than any... Read More

Overscheduled Kids

Time devoted the better part of an issue to it.... Read More

How Much Water are You Wasting?

Are you being smart about water conservation? Do you consider... Read More

Discipline on My Mind

I look out of the window as I am writing... Read More

Children, Entitlement and God

"Setting the alarm on Sunday mornings is inhuman?..God should know... Read More

Car Wash Fundraiser Preparation

Are you considering a car wash fundraiser for your group?... Read More

Using Diet, Counseling, and Attend to Overcome ADHD

When it comes to the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity... Read More

My Children

I have been a single mom for almost 20 years.... Read More

THE NEW SCHOOL VISIT: 5 Things to Look For

Today the little red school house is not what it... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: What Teens Say About Parents

What's hard for teenagersHaving people who don't understand you trying... Read More

Tips for Parents of Teenagers: Dont Just Survive - Thrive!

What makes parenting so challenging at times? One widespread research... Read More

Getting through the School Daze

It's back to school time again. Does the thought of... Read More

Speaking on Behalf of Our Children: Stop Blaming the Victims

How many times have you flipped through the pages of... Read More

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: What is Impulsivity?

Impulsivity is one of the hallmarks of people with Attention... Read More

The Mystery of Child Beliefs, Spirit in Children, Understanding Spirtuality in Children

In the wonderment of childhood, it is easier for a... Read More

Helping Your Child Cope With A Long-Term Illness

All children will likely have many different health problems during... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: Responding to a Poor Progress Report in School

Q. We just got our daughter's progress report, and it... Read More

The Long Journey Home

Once upon a time, I thought I had it all.... Read More

10 Steps To Prepare You For Life With Children

It's hard to explain to the uninitiated the changes that... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: But everyone else gets to do it!

Q. We are getting to the stage with our kids... Read More

A Mothers Way

Dear MomOn this day set aside to honour "Mother's" let... Read More

Hints on how to encourage children to read

Hints from Ruowen Wang? Keep a small basket filled with... Read More

I WONT DO IT! Tips for Working with the Oppositional Child

"I WON'T DO IT!" "YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!"Whether parent or... Read More

Whos Teaching Your Child About Money?

Managing money is one of the most critical skills we... Read More

Stress is No Kiddy Matter

Kids today no longer live the kind of privileged lives... Read More