Raising a child is no easy task.
As parents, we learn as we go, making mistakes, but doing the best we can. There’s things our parents did that we swore we would never do, yet we do them. There’s child-rearing techniques we thought were brilliant, that we learned were not. With each child we learn more; and then we become grandparents…
There are many benefits of grand-parenting over parenting. Personally, I feel the greatest part is in seeing the challenges and rewards from a different perspective.
Motherhood was a great portion of my personal identity. If my kids did well, I felt good about myself. If they were at risk or made poor choices, I felt like a failure. Raising my granddaughter is different.
The Value of Life-lessons
You know those times when something happens that beckons an intimate talk about life? I loved those special moments when I was rearing my own children. (Teaching is my passion.) I’m not so sure my kids loved those moments, though, because I realize now that I was putting too much pressure on them. When the opportunity arrises to teach my granddaughter, the life-lesson no longer feels urgent and demanding like it did with my kids because my own identity is no longer creating that pressure.
I am not afraid of my granddaughter’s mistakes, I know they will teach her better than I can, so she is allowed to mess up and I am allowed to enjoy witnessing her development. Her life-lessons are all about her success, not mine.
Teaching opportunities are precious, especially when we are not driven to fix, lecture or pressure the children in our lives.
The milk has spilled. I can yell, and she can cry, or we can simply clean it up together.
Life just taught her to be careful next time; I don’t need to.
When we realize that our panicked or controlling response could break a child’s character, the lesson is no longer, “Don’t do that!” If we want Confident Kids, we should not make them feel that their mistakes or messes are pitiful. Instead, by calmly cleaning up the mess with them, we are teaching them that our love is unconditional, which is really the greatest life-lesson we could ever teach.
Most of us mom’s understand this concept when it comes to handling “boo boos.” We ask to see what hurts, we kiss it, then we give it a pretty bandaid–even if it doesn’t need one. We instinctively know how to love a child through her hurts.
The Value of Validation
A kiss makes a boo boo “all better” because it gives validation to the pain.Catrina welch
Perhaps it’s their tears that makes a boo-boo different from a mistake. Tears call to our momma-heart. It’s easy to console a child that is crying because that mistake doesn’t threaten our identity, it validates our worth.
Oh, how I wish I had used my “teaching opportunities” to love my children when they messed up–not only when they hurt. Now that they are grown, I see how they are just like me… and most other adults I know.
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Each of us respond differently, but our stressing and striving; our hating and hiding; our hangups and habits all give indication that our mistakes–or the fear of them–are still a Confidence Conflict. Our goal, of course, is to grow and mature in our responses, but for many of us, the fear of failure still shows up late in life.
Our children deserve more.
We can’t love anyone through their mistakes until we learn to love ourselves through our own.
I am far better at loving my granddaughter through her mistakes because I have learned to love myself through my own. I believe this is only possible because, by God’s grace, I have come to accept His unconditional love toward me.
How about you? How do you treat yourself when you mess up? If you are ready to let go of the fear of failure and begin to love yourself unconditionally, I encourage you to treat yourself as you would a child with a “boo boo”:
- Acknowledge what hurts. A wound that is not validated will not heal. God sees your pain, talk to Him about it.
- Accept a kiss. There is great value in being vulnerable enough to ask for help & healing. God loves when you come to Him like a little child.
- Put a pretty bandaid on it. It’s not about hiding the hurt, it’s about protecting it. Self care is an important part of maturing.
Author and speaker, Catrina Welch, is the founder of Confident Beauty Image- and Life-Coaching. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and image consultant, she developed a fun and interactive way of doing group image assessments. These events she calls Supreme MakeOvers because they do not wear off like makeup does! To learn more about having or hosting a private or group SMO Image Assessment event -or if you are interested in becoming a certified consultant yourself, contact her today! She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, Goodreads, or visit her at https://catrinawelch.com