You make a parenting booboo, now what? You know you screwed up, but how do you fix it?
Here’s a perfect example of this: 5 weeks after my daughter was born, I ventured out to run some errands with both kids in tow and ended up in the dollar store. My son who was almost 3 at the time wanted every plastic, colourful thing he could get his hands on and after a million no’s he asked me for a police set, I was half asleep and didn’t even look at the package and what it contained. The next thing is, we’re walking down the street and my son is holding a black gun shooting it at strangers. Ok, so I screwed up. Now what?
I had said he could get the package. If that wasn’t bad enough, we then also bought him some water guns. We weren’t letting him watch violent television shows so, why not let him be a little kid, let him play cowboys and indians, cops and robbers or whatever other good guy versus bad guy game he wants. BIG MISTAKE. In the end we had to take the guns away (obviously).
I think what made this transition easier for him is that we owned our error. We told him we had made a mistake, we had done something wrong and it was our fault. We repeated several times that “mommy and daddy made a mistake”. The lesson for him, or so we hope he learned: mistakes can happen, people make them, take responsibility for your actions, be honest about your behaviour.
Seriously we never get anywhere in relationships until we’re able to take responsibility for our behaviours, own your sh*t – remember you’re human and that means you’re going to make mistakes, be forgiving of others and especially yourself.