I have decided to write a podcast for each of the Tuesday Tips from our podcast.
This post is for Tip #9 which will air September 27, 2022
I found this article written by Tracy Hutchinson entitled,
In my opinion, at least 5 of them closely relate to this topic of making mistakes:
-Minimize kid’s feelings
-Saving kids from failure
-Making sure they always feel comfortable
-Not taking care of yourself
Acknowledging feelings is the first area we address in our parent communication workshops.
We all want to feel heard and acknowledged and seek that for ourselves and it is just as important to provide this for our children. There are many consequences of negating children’s feelings. I will go into more detail on this topic in another post. Here, I would like to say that we need to embrace all of our feelings both the positive and the negative. We need to allow our children to have their negative feelings and allow them to respond, even react, in a safe and loving environment.
We want our children to be happy and succeed. Yet, always pursuing happiness and success can be detrimental to their mental, emotional, physical, social and spiritual health. We learn from our mistakes and our failures. How many inventions were created on the first try?
Unfortunately, our current US educational system is base on “excellence” with a goal of 100%. What is the message here? To be recognized and be the best and succeed, we need to be 100%, to be perfect.
When my kids experience anxiety, I want to help them feel better to find a way to move out of the discomfort. Yet, avoiding discomfort can fuel anxiety. My understanding of the connection with discomfort and anxiety has been a recent discovery for me. I look back on how my husband and I have handled our children’s severe OCD and their anxiety, I see the mistakes we made in wanting them to feel better. Despite our good intentions and the love we have for our children, making it better for them did not empower them to learn to accept and move through their anxiety.
Self-care; Need I say more? Once again, our children learn from us even when we aren’t paying attention. When we put off our own needs and neglect ourselves we are telling our children that mom or dad, doesn’t matter and that other people are more important. It also does not empower them to engage in their own self-care. Paying attention to our mental, emotional and physical health and if applicable, our spiritual health requires balancing our have to do list with our own needs. We need to look at our priorities and honestly evaluate how our time is spent in respect to our priorities. One way to do this is to first make a list of our priorities and then order them by importance. When thinking about importance, think about what will matter most in 5 years and in 25 years. Then keep track of how we spend our time, for a week if possible and then calculate how much time was spent in each category and compare it to our stated priorities.
If you remember nothing else from this post, remember that we can all learn from mistakes. Mistakes can be an opportunity for reflection and growth. The next time you or your child makes a mistake, step back for a moment and try to see the bigger picture. If it is your mistake, verbalize to them your feelings and describe what you have learned from the mistake. Even better, let them see by your example, what you do after making the mistake. And if it is your child’s mistake, be there to hear their feelings and allow them the time to process and come to their own conclusion and see the opportunities.
Join us at Focused Healthy Family Podcasts. Leave us a comment. We would love to hear from you!
Tracy Hutchinson, PhD, LMHC, is a therapist with over 18 years of clinical experience. She is a regular columnist for Psychology Today, and her research on positive psychology, mental health and emotional psychology has been published in dozens of peer reviewed academic journals and textbooks.