As a dad, I’ve spent a lot of time teaching my kids how important it is to respect others, honor adults, and especially honor their parents. In other words,“respect; try it some time, son.”
I’ve also caught myself saying and doing things that might not always build my children up to feel respected and important. I realize (usually just after making a parenting mistake) that my son and daughter have an innate need to feel valued. In fact, we all do.
Let me start with a mistake. My daughter and I were alone on a Friday night, so I tried to turn it into a “daddy daughter date night.” We ordered Japanese, got her favorite fried rice to bring home, and decided to order a movie. #awesomedadmoment
When sorting through movie rental options, my daughter landed on my worst nightmare “Transylvania 3.” Please understand that I’ve actually gone to the theater to suffer through T1 and T2, so watching these cartoon characters on a cruise ship just felt like my last thread of sanity might finally get clipped.
“Sweetheart, maybe we could find another movie. Paying $6.00 to rent Transylvania seems like a lot.” Big mistake.
“Ok dad. Well, I don’t want to rent anything now that you’ve made me feel like $6 is too much.”
Immediately, I realized my careless words caused my daughter to feel her opinions and preferences did not matter to me, even as small as an issue as picking a movie. I tried my best to recover and offered to rent T3, but the damage had been done. #loserdadmoment
I was reminded of the importance of making our children feel honored when I saw this excellent info graphic by Biglifejournal.com
While we could spend an infinite amount of time beating ourselves up as parents, I want to encourage you to focus your energy on creating more positive experiences for your children. Over time, I have found with my 12 and 9 year old children that we’ve had far more positive experiences than negative ones. You likely have tremendous experiences with your children that lift up their spirits. I share my own vulnerabilities in hopes that we can all remember that we’re flawed, imperfect beings. The good news: our children recognize our mistakes and they can develop resilience through our parenting mistakes.
The more we create a transparency within our homes that we can “talk openly about negative self-talk” and “discuss our best failures” allows for our children to resist the perfectionist culture and learn to accept and grow from negative experiences, failures, and mistakes.
Thank you for your commitment to honoring your children by modeling vulnerability and growth through failure. Keep it up, parents!
Here are some inspiring quotes for inspiration…