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 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 now, life-lessons are no longer urgent and demanding because I am no longer concerned with my own identity in the matter. Life-lessons are all about my granddaughter’s success, not mine. I am not afraid of her 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.
Teaching opportunities are even more precious when we are not driven to fix, lecture or pressure the children in our lives. The milk has spilled. Ok, let’s not cry, let’s simply clean it up together.
Life just taught her to be careful next time; I don’t need to.
The lesson is no longer, “Don’t do that!” when we realize that our panicked or controlling response could break her character. If she feels that her mistakes or messes are pitiful, then our “wisdom” will only produce shame.
By calmly cleaning up the mess with her, we are far more effective in showing her that our love is unconditional, which is really the greatest life-lesson we could ever teach any child.
Most of us mom’s get this 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 she 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.
Mistakes make us feel ashamed, and shame is a major Confidence Conflict. While we certainly should not blame our parents–for they, too, were only learning–we are wise to look at what we learned as children.
How you respond to mistakes is a big indicator of your Img.ID:
C: The Classic may quietly work harder to make things better.
N: The Natural may do her best to pretend it didn’t happen.
D: The Dramatic may be boisterously devastated or demanding.
I: The Ingénue may accept all blame and become self-loathing.
R: The Romantic may become consumed with helping others feel better.
G: The Gamine may take charge to make things right, or demand you do.
Click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear.
To take my FREE Image Identity Quizclick here
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.
As an author and speaker, my passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, I love to use my profession, along with my experiences and training as a Biblical life-coach to help others struggling. If you want to make difference, too, would you help share this blog and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, Goodreads