Do you ever talk to your children about your failings? About
your sometimes unenlightened decisions? I was raised with a
distorted view that life is just something that happens to you,
and not a reality that is formed, in part, by your everyday
When you don't evaluate the impact your decisions have on your
life, you are lacking a skill that your children will never learn
other than by example.
When you make a decision that negatively affects your life or the
lives of others, be the first to admit it. Admit your mistake
and resolve to handle any resulting consequences of your actions.
Sound simple? It really is. It takes a little practice and a
humble spirit, but you will be teaching your children a very
important lesson: how to honor others.
When you don't deal with the consequences of your actions and
don't admit your failings, your children will get one or more of
the following messages:
- adults don't make mistakes
- when something goes wrong in my life it is someone else's fault
- if I make a poor choice and don't own up to it I am not
accountable for it
Is this the message you want to send your child? Talk to your
children when you've made a decision you could have maybe handled
differently. Ask them their opinion on what they would have done
in your situation and how they would have handled it differently.
Of course you can also do this when your children make poor
choices of their own. But failing to share your own mistakes
(after you've owned up to them) shows your children that adults,
too, make mistakes. The goal is not to grow up to be someone who
always makes the right decision (easy to mistakenly believe), but
someone who takes responsibility for their own actions, whatever
Copyright 2001. Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and
Christian wife and mom. For complete resources for the Christian
home, visit her web site at http://www.Christian-Parent.com. To
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