When our Children Make Mistakes: Discussion from my moms group

When was the last time that you made a mistake? We probably do it on a daily basis, especially when it comes to our children. The good news is that whether you are a single mom or married mom, you are not alone as a parent. Isaiah 41:10 "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."

Collins English dictionary defines mistake as:
1. a misconception or misunderstanding
2. an error or blunder in action, opinion, or judgment

Definition of disobedience from The Online Plain Text English Dictionary:
1.Neglect or refusal to obey;
2.violation of a command or prohibition.

When my child makes a mistake, my first instinct is usually to become angry.
The frustration comes from the inconvenience that thier mistake may cause me. But I have to remember how I feel when I've made an error in judgement. I am usually embarassed and disappointed in myself. Sometimes I feel bad for the people that are affected by my actions. Well, our kids may feel the same way when they mess up. So, lets have some more empathy on our kids when they falter by accident. When we show sympathy for the child, they can focus on learning from their poor choice and not just on our harsh reaction.

In the bible, many strong people made rather huge mistakes. Although God still loved them, he also imparted consequences. In Genesis, Eve was tempted by the serpent to eat from the fruit of knowledge and offered it to Adam. As a result, Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden of Eden. Adam now had to work to make a living and Eve was cursed with painful childbirth. However, God forgave them and used them to procreate and populate this great earth.

I feel that the best consequences are the natural ones. For example, my son forgot his lunch several times and I made him eat from the cafetaria one day. I would normally run back home and get his food. So far, he has not forgotten his lunch again. My two year old daughter had a temper tantrum because I did not give her the food that she wanted. She decided to throw her meal on the ground. I realize that toddlers don't have very good judgement but I made her pick it up. She also had dirty hands as a result and had to clean them.

I love it when my son admits his mistakes to me instead of hiding them. If I praise him for his honesty, he will most likely open up to me again, especially in his teenage years. In this way, he can build a character of integrity and more willingly accept his consequences. He also knows that I do not expect him to be perfect. What I expect is honesty. In return I offer forgivessness and love for him.

The nutured heart approach taught me to build my children's self esteem by acknowledging their positive behavior. I try not to focus on their past mistakes. Instead I praise the positive behavior that they are exemplifying at the moment. The bible supports this concept in Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."


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