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:


'Free-range parenting' case unleashes national debate
Boston Globe
WASHINGTON — Two days after the story of their children's unsupervised walk home from a park became the latest flash point in an ongoing cultural debate about what constitutes responsible parenting, Danielle and Alexander Meitiv were still explaining ...
Where to draw the line between protecting kids and the Nanny State?Buffalo News

all 5 news articles »

BabyCenter (blog)

15 more hilariously accurate tweets about parenting
BabyCenter (blog)
I selected more of my favorite tweets from among the 300 plus 140-character quips, highlighted in the perfect-to-read-in-the-bath-with-a-glass-of-red-wine tome, “The Big Book of Parenting Tweets.” (Don't worry. I have conducted extensive research on ...


Dr. Randy Cale's Terrific Parenting: Failure vs. success in getting results
The Saratogian
Dr. Randy Cale, a Clifton Park-based parenting expert, author, speaker and licensed psychologist, offers practical guidance for a host of parenting concerns. His website, www.TerrificParenting.com, offers free parenting guidance and an email newsletter.

and more »

The Province (blog)

Free-Range Parenting: Easier Said Than Done, But Worth the Effort
Huffington Post
The parents' choice to allow their kids to walk home a mile from the park came from a philosophy known as "free-range parenting." The goals of a free-range parent are the same as those of most parents: to raise their kids to cope successfully with life ...
Is it safe to be a free-range kid?The Province (blog)

all 2 news articles »

New York Times

Pope Amuses and Insults With Remark on Parenting
New York Times
ROME — Over the past two years, the world has become accustomed to Pope Francis' folksy manner. Indeed, with his homespun anecdotes and off-the-cuff quips, the pope at times comes off more like a plainspoken uncle than the leader of the world's 1.2 ...
Pope Francis On Birth Control: Don't 'Breed Like Rabbits,' Catholics Use ...The Inquisitr
Pope Francis Declares That Catholics Should Practice Responsible ParentingAmerican Live Wire
Pope Francis: No Catholic need to breed like 'rabbits'BBC News

all 1,802 news articles »

21 Honest Instagram Photos That Show The Messy Side Of Parenting
Huffington Post
"People love to look at beautiful things," says Lori Leibovich, editor of RealSimple.com, explaining why Instagram feeds -- including her own -- are filled with perfectly staged, flawlessly filtered, charming images. "And yet if I'm honest with myself ...


The great parenting divide
Glens Falls Post-Star
I was talking to my very pregnant friend the other day when she exclaimed suddenly, “Oh!” I jumped as if about to go running for a pan of hot water and clean towels when very pregnant friend, continued her thought, “I just remembered I need to RSVP to ...


New York Post

Parenting overkill: Finding the right way to let kids grow up
New York Post
Danielle and Alexander Meitiv, of Silver Spring, Maryland, are reportedly under investigation for allowing their 6- and 10-year-old children to walk around the neighborhood together without an adult. Photo: WUSA 9 ...
'Free-range parenting' technique lands Maryland couple in hot waterNew York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV
The Mamafesto: Why race and class matter when it comes to parentingSheKnows.com
Free Range Parenting: Danielle Meitiv Defends Decision To Let Children Walk ...The Inquisitr
Huffington Post
all 91 news articles »

Montgomery County Neglect Inquiry Shines Spotlight On 'Free-Range' Parenting
Huffington Post
Two days after the story of their children's unsupervised walk home from a park became the latest flash point in an ongoing cultural debate about what constitutes responsible parenting, Danielle and Alexander Meitiv were still explaining their “old ...


The Providence Journal

Michael Morse: The 10 commandments of step-parenting
The Providence Journal
We spoke quietly, nearly whispering, arms clasped together. Friends and family watched us as the second most important man in her life waited. We took our time, this being a walk to cherish forever, sharing words of encouragement as we made our way ...

Google News

How To Entertain A Child While Working From A Home Office

There is no doubt that the benefits of being a... Read More

Puberty - Get Ready to Play the Puberty Game

Puberty can be a difficult time for children. Not quite... Read More

Teenagers in America Today

"Family Matters" was the headline that caught my attention in... Read More

The Scientific Breakthrough That Allows Every Couple To Choose The Gender Of Their Baby

The advances in science over the past century have been... Read More

Top Ten Things My Six Year-Old Son Has Taught Me (So Far...)

I've learned numerous, important lessons on life, motherhood and men... Read More

7 Ways Busy Families Can Volunteer

Volunteering together is a fantastic way to spend time as... Read More

Effective Troubled Teen Programs

Not all parents subscribe to the notion of "tough love,"... Read More

Parenting in the Kitchen ? Lessons in Cooking, Socializing, and Bonding

Kitchens are where everything happens. It's not just where meals... Read More

Personal Responsibility: What It Means and Whose Job is It?

"How many times do I have to tell you to... Read More

How To Homeschool Without Making Your Child An Outcast

If you are currently homeschooling or considering homeschooling your child,... Read More

Gifted Children - Getting the Balance Right

One of the challenges for parents with a gifted child... Read More

Lead with Love:How Mothers Can Use Their Greatest Strength to Manage Around Their Technical Weakness

My wife and I have been working on a video... Read More

Vouchers --- Parents, Dont Depend On Them

Vouchers, which give tax money to parents to pay for... Read More

Ten Ways to Help Your Child Make Friends

Nothing touches the heartstrings of a parent or teacher more... Read More

Child Communication Skill: Do You Really Know What Your Child Is Saying To You?

Here's the scene of communication with your child: your three-year-old... Read More

From Good to GREAT: Secrets On Becoming A Better Dad

While most fathers aspire to become the best Dads they... Read More

Fraternal Twin Parenting Concerns

Identity and Your Fraternal TwinFor the most part, throughout this... Read More

How to Stop Bad Behavior Before it Starts

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

Keeping the Stress out of Single Parenting

Researched through personal experience!Budget Your Money. Even if you are... Read More

From Birth to Teen, Spirituality in Children

Until about the age of six, children do not generally... Read More

The Homeopathic Nutraceutical Attend as an Alternative to Ritalin

You no longer have to use Ritalin or other stimulants... Read More

Parents --- Homeschooling Can Take a Lot Less Time Than You Think

The time you will need to teach your children the... Read More

When Time Out Dont Work

Joey steps away from his time out chair "I won't... Read More

Humans and Their Innate Need for Drug Stimulation

We know that ancient cultures and Indians and the like... Read More

Watch Your Language! - How Parents Can Help Kids Help Themselves

'I felt great until I walked into the classroom -... Read More