When parents make mistakes it can actually be healthy for both them and their children, so long as parents are quick to repair the ruptured connection. This is certainly good news, given that all parents are prone to their fair share of mistakes.
So here’s a challenge for all parents — let’s practice making mistakes with our children (not intentionally, of course) and repairing them so that we and our children can grow and learn, and our connection can be strengthened. Are you up for it? Here’s how it works.
Choose a two to three day period when you will be with your child for most, if not all, of the waking hours in the day. Over the course of these days, be mindful to repair each and every mistake you make when interacting with your child. Whether you lose your temper, raise your voice, speak sarcastically, become frustrated, cut them off, fail to give them voice, ignore them, hurt their feelings…the list could go on. Regardless of whether the mistake is big or small, intentional or unintentional, be sure to quickly, humbly, and sincerely repair each and every mistake you make.
As you do this, make a mental note of (or better yet, actually write down) any observations that stand out, particularly in terms of your own feelings and your child’s response (to both your mistake and your repair). Also make a note of any changes in your relationship with your child that you witness throughout the course of this time. We have a hunch that by practicing making mistakes and repairing them, your relationship with your child will grow.
For more on the importance of parents repairing their mistakes, watch these videos featuring Dr. Karyn Purvis and Amy Monroe: