Let’s be honest, sometimes it’s not all aspirational quotes and gratitude when you’re a parent. Sometimes we totally blow it, lose our cool, lose our sh#t, lose our minds. It happens, we’re human. We’re all just perfectly flawed.
Mistakes are more than okay, they offer us valuable opportunities to finetune our behaviours. They’re a vehicle we can employ to teach our kids how to recover, how to learn and how to move forward. Mistakes aren’t failures, they’re a bump in the road, not a dead-end street.
“It’s not the rupture that damages your child, it’s the lack of repair.”
– Nathan Wallis
The power of the bounce-back
The opportunity that presents itself when we’ve had a blowout is teaching our kids that everyone is redeemable. We can show them how to take accountability for words, actions and behaviours, to make amends and to move forward together.
Admitting your mistakes and apologising when you need to doesn’t diminish your status or authority in your child’s eyes. You are demonstrating your respect for their feelings and encouraging them to develop boundaries and standards for behaviour they should or should not accept from others in their lives.
4 steps to recover from a blowout
We wanted to share some practical ideas we got from the IG Live chat we had with our expert consultant, Abby Linn from Creative Coping during lockdown. It’s all about bouncing back from a tough day and recovering from a blowout. Goodness knows we’ve put this sequence of ideas into practice in our own homes!
Acknowledge it – When things are winding down, sit down together and talk about how the day went. This might sound like, “Today was a bit of a tough day, wasn’t it?”
Explain it – Have a debrief about what happened with no blame or judgement (we’re only human). Be brief but be factual and specific. This might sound like, “I want to talk with you about what happened before. I was feeling ... and then ...”
Role-model accountability – Show them it’s normal to make mistakes and how to recover from them by saying sorry if you need to apologise, and then, hug it out. This might sound like, “I’m really sorry that I ... (be specific). It wasn’t very grown-up of me and I made a mistake when I behaved like that. It was not your fault. I’ll try to do better next time.”
- Make a plan – Figure out how to get back on track together by both coming up with ideas for what you could do differently to move forward. “How do you think we can do things differently to make tomorrow a better day?”
“We’re all imperfect parents and that’s perfectly okay. Tiny humans been connection, not perfection.”
– L.R. Knost