The Beauty of Recognizing Our Mistakes as Parents

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To say that my son is a perfectionist would be a huge understatement. He does not like making mistakes. And the idea of doing something wrong paralyzes him so much that he won’t even try something unless he knows that he can do it.

So I do what every mom is supposed to do, keep reminding him that it’s OK to make mistakes and that learning from our mistakes helps us all grow our brain power.

On one such day of advice-giving, he looks up at me and says, “If I make a mistake, you get angry.” That was the day that I realized that his extreme reactions came from my unrealistic expectations.

That was also the day I understood that Moms can and often make mistakes.

The Beauty of Recognizing Our Mistakes as Parents

Observe Yourself

So I started observing my behavior around my son. Every time he made a mistake, frown lines would appear on my face as if by magic. If the mistakes continued despite repeated instructions, my soft voice got louder. In a few days, I observed myself losing control more often than I would have liked. It felt as if someone else resided in me and she would take charge every once in a while.

Then, I had to follow up with the real work of catching myself while making those mistakes. It is so much easier to catch something once it has already been done. After-all, hindsight is always 20/20. The real challenge was to identify it right before it started.

So, every time that I felt I was losing control, I would count to ten, or start chanting Om. I also kept reminding myself that I was dealing with another human being, a little one who had his own share of feelings and emotions. And the little child’s expressions as he looked at my face was a bit too much to bear.

Shift Your Perspective

It took all my positive spirit to make myself understand that making mistakes was not the end of the world. I kept reminding myself and forgiving myself every time I lost control of my emotions. It took quite a bit of self-talk to come to terms with this side of me.

I even compared myself to the great Kramer in one episode of Seinfeld, where he decides not to talk. The guy would start talking and then in the middle of his speech, remember his oath, and state, “And it starts now!” That became my catch-phrase, my new mantra …It starts now!

But the most important thing that I did was to make a point of sharing with my son that getting angry over making mistakes was a huge blunder in itself. He had a huge grin on his face when he understood that I was the one in trouble for a change and that he got to “forgive” me.

And they live happily-ever-after

The day finally came, when both of our hard work gave us some tangible result. My son and I were singing a song at a pitch of G sharp.

As the song progressed, my son shook his head from time to time, even as he continued to sing. By the end of the song, I caught on to the fact that we were both singing in different pitches. I had gone down to F sharp which was not how we started the song.

I knew that all my efforts to teach him the value of making mistakes were not wasted when my little one waited for the song to get over, each of us singing in different pitches, and then exclaimed, “Mom you made a mistake … but that’s alright, you still sang well!”

Change in our children begins with us.


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12 Replies to “The Beauty of Recognizing Our Mistakes as Parents

  1. Giving myself grace when I make mistakes is a new journey for me. It took me several years to learn that forgiveness was a necessary part of motherhood.

    1. It’s surprising, isn’t it? We can easily forgive others but are always unforgiving when it comes to our blunders. But, just like everything else, this is also a process.

  2. I love this post, and I can totally relate. My son takes a long time to build up his confidence to try anything new as well. He is starting to move out of that phase now and trust himself more, so I’m excited to see what comes next!

  3. Good job momma! As a mom of adult children, this is a valuable lesson too. As parents, we don’t want our kids to make mistakes, but sometimes they need to make their own mistakes to learn a lesson and as parents, we can encourage them to learn from their mistakes and get back on the horse of life.

    1. As parents , the hardest lesson to learn is to let your children make and learn from their mistakes. But just like anything else, it can be done with time and practice. Thank you for the visit!

    1. Thanks Christina. Parenting is the most difficult and yet the most fulfilling task. I’m glad you found this interesting.

  4. Parenting can be so hard. Pulling myself out of situations where I am losing control (getting angry at the kiddos) has really helped me. Like literally removing myself before I even get to a point of anger. It is very important to take a step back and observe yourself.

    1. I agree Julie. Parenting has been one of my most challenging role that I played. But challenges are what contribute most to your growth. I do it sometimes too …take a walk around the house and regroup. It helps most of the days. Thank you for the visit.

  5. I agree Julie. Parenting has been one of my most challenging role that I played. But challenges are what contribute most to your growth. I do it sometimes too …take a walk around the house and regroup. It helps most of the days. Thank you for the visit.

  6. Great article!
    Most of us moms are guilty of passing on our negative vibes to the kids and then wonder why are they acting up.
    Thank you for the reminder to count to 10.

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