Friday, April 26, 2013

This is Not a Big Deal

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This is not a big deal. Yeah, there's a dent and a big hole that devalues the vehicle. But, really, it's not a big deal.

Clint calmly asked three questions:

How did this happen?
Did you damage anyone else's property?
Did you learn from this mistake?

Then he issued a parenting edict:

You will repair the damage yourself. I will give you instructions, but you will do all of the work. 

When you are learning a new skill, sometimes you make mistakes. How a parent handles these moments can either build the relationship or tear it apart. We'd rather our children felt they could safely come to us than feel the need to hide. 

No one was hurt. 
No one else's property was damaged. 
Our child learned from it. 

There was no yelling, threats, or angry words. Grace, acceptance, forgiveness. The relationship between them and their father is closer for it. They will learn not only to repair their mistakes, but a new skill.

How you react to things tell your children what you value the most. I know it is hard to have self control when you see your property torn up, but what better example to give your children about how to handle life's upsets? How do you show them you care more about them than the car? Grace, acceptance, forgiveness.

Lest you think otherwise, Clint and I don't always get it right. However, when we have failed, we have gone back and apologized to our child/ren and explained what a proper response would have looked like. Humility doesn't weaken your position as a parent. It strengthens it.