Mistake Tolerance - Can You Handle It

parenting parenting help Oct 06, 2022
mistake tolerance

We are all screwing up, and that's just great.

Did you know yesterday was the Jewish “Day Of Atonement,” Yom Kippur? This is when Jews reflect on their mistakes, feel regretful, and make things right. It’s a hoot and a half. 😒

When I was a kid, I used to cry my eyes out every Yom Kippur, feeling shame for all the mistakes and bad decisions I’d made during the year, and I’m pretty sure that’s what most people think is supposed to happen on this somber day.

But in the last couple of years, I have begun seeing this day as a celebration of my mistakes, a day to reflect on my screw-ups with pride. I have learned to embody the stuff I teach my kids and my clients:

Mistakes are the magic that makes life WORK.

Do you beat yourself up for your parenting failures or cringe when your kids struggle and do things ‘wrong’? Well, cut that sh*t out!!! The way you and your child feel about mistakes is huge. To learn, we must do things we’ve never done, and so…we kinda suck at them for a while, which means lots of mistakes and crappy consequences. This is just a true fact of life, but we try to make it untrue all the time:

  • When we hovercraft, remind and rescue, so our kids don’t mess up
  • When we expect them or ourselves to be perfect
  • When we get upset about mistakes (theirs or ours)
  • When we shame ourselves or them for messing up

We pretend we can grow without mistakes and the resulting heartache, but we can’t. Instead, we end up giving ourselves and our kids the message: “You can’t do this right, and doing it poorly is not an option because mistakes are the worst thing ever.” Gross!

All parents are screwing up left and right - we never did this before, so we kinda suck at it! And that sh*t is pure magic! We’re rockstars for going through the sucky part so we can get good at it. Life is all about accepting screw-ups as the way it’s supposed to be, feeling regretful, and by doing that, growing. Now the message becomes: “Mistakes are tough but good. You’re super normal and growing. This is the way of life.”

When we’re comfortable with mistakes, we respond SO differently to our kids’ struggles and our own failures. We don’t rescue. We don’t berate. We love them and ourselves. We hold ourselves and them accountable without anger or shame. We are patient and empathetic but not distraught or overly invested. And we don’t cry our faces off in Temple on Yom Kippur 😉

If you’re ready to ditch the shame and teach yourself and your kids how to embrace fallibility as life’s secret sauce, let’s talk! I’m here to help you make it happen.