Have you made some mistakes with your kids that still bother you to this day? Maybe you’ve said or done something that hurt your kids, your kids’ mother, or damaged your relationship. You are not alone.
As dads, as people, we all make mistakes. And sometimes we allow those mistakes to hold us hostage or kill the growth of our relationships. They don’t have to. But what can you do? Move forward. Try these 7 ways to recover from your parenting mistakes:
1. Recognize it.
The first way is an obvious one. We have to recognize our mistakes. I joke with my kids and say, “Dads know everything,” when honestly dads have a lot to learn. And because of this, we make mistakes. We can’t move forward until we acknowledge this.
2. Determine why.
Once we recognize our mistakes, we have to search ourselves and find out why we did what we did. This will help us to not repeat it in the future.
3. Apologize for it.
One of the biggest things we can do for our kids is to apologize and ask for forgiveness when we mess up. That will teach them to do the same and show them true humility.
4. Discuss it.
Once we apologize, we don’t just move on. Now is the time to have a talk. Find out how it affected your kids, your wife, or your child’s mother, and openly and honestly share your feelings. Be quick to listen to their responses.
5. Learn from it.
One of the greatest benefits of making mistakes is the opportunity to learn and grow from them. This provides a great learning opportunity for you as well as a teaching opportunity for your kids.
6. Take action.
Put the lesson you learned from your mistake into action. What will you do if faced with this situation again? Is there something that needs to be done now, above an apology, to fix or reconcile the situation or relationship? Give some thought to this question so you can be better prepared and not make this mistake again. If appropriate, ask your wife or kids to hold you accountable and point out if you start to repeat the same mistake again.
7. Move on.
Now it is time to move on. Don’t let the guilt of your mistake hold you hostage. Don’t replay it in your mind or bring it up at later dates in a negative way. Move on and do better the next time.
Related Resource: 7 Mistakes to Let Your Kids See You Make
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Is there anything I’ve done that has hurt you? If so, let’s talk about it.