I remember having a conversation with one of my friends when I was a young adult. They talked about how their parents never fought. I remember thinking how nice that would have been to live in a house where there was never conflict and never arguments. I, on the other hand, grew up in a family that had regular conflict with strong personalities to boot. The older I have gotten the more I value the conflict and the more I value mistakes.
I know that probably sounds really odd because being in the middle of conflict and making mistakes can be really uncomfortable and dealing with the consequences of those mistakes can sometime straight-up suck. But, the more I have screwed up the more I have learned that real learning happens in the midst of mistakes.
As a parent, I show that I value mistakes in many ways. One way is holding myself accountable to my kids when I mess up. We can’t learn from something unless we first acknowledge it. I truly believe that when our kids understand that their parents aren’t perfect and see us as willing to own our mistakes as well as make it right when we mess up, it gives them the ability to do the same. In our home we try to use every mistake as an opportunity. Recently, one of my kids had a rough start to their day. It started with one mistake and then spiraled into a big mess of mistakes. It meant that my kid got to spend the day having a “Think” day. In other words, they received a notebook and a pen and spent the day thinking of what happened, what they could have done differently, and how they were going to make it right. We believe in the ability to reconcile our mistakes which, in turn, means we believe in the importance of being willing to forgive.
In my personal journey I have found there is power in embracing the mistakes and my goal is to, in turn, empower my kids by helping them do the same. It doesn’t make a mistake right. And, it doesn’t excuse intentional wrong decisions. What it does is give space for learning and growth. There is a lot that I am still figuring out but, I honestly believe I wouldn’t be where I am today or willing to wade through the challenges we have without all the things I have learned through the journey of my mistakes.
Founder/CEO Foster Arizona