Whether or not they verbalize it, kids often struggle with feeling like they are “bad kids” or that they are “naughty” when they misbehave. It can be tough for parents, especially in moments of frustration as our kids are acting out, to communicate the message that they are loved no matter what even if their behavior may be less than desirable. The following story is an example from one mom of a time when she discovered a great opportunity to communicate this message.
One day after a very stressful day, I had just had it. I lashed out at my son by yelling and becoming very critical towards him. He became the collateral damage of my disastrous day.
Quickly, I realized what I had done and apologized. As soon as I did, I realized I could use my “parent fail” moment as a teaching moment.
I asked my son, “Does it make me a bad mom because I yelled at you and wasn’t very nice to you in that moment, or am I a good mom who made a bad choice?”
My son was quick to reply: “Of course you are a good mom who made a bad choice, you just made a mistake.”
I went on to explain, “That’s how I feel towards you when you make mistakes. I love you the same and think you are a great kid who makes mistakes at times.”
As I explained, I could see in his eyes that he had experienced a new level of understanding. Even though I lost it and yelled at my son, I was so thankful that even my “parent fail” moment could turn into another golden opportunity to communicate to my son that I love him no matter what!
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