Tag Archive | mistakes

Do you forgive yourself as you do the kids?

Pic doesn’t do the ‘glow’ justice – well – it was raining!

I walked round a nature reserve a few weeks ago and the trees were positively glowing and illuminated with their autumn yellows, oranges and auburns.

I was glowing too. Sadly not with Autumn but with anger! Anger at a stupid mistake I’d made in my schedule, wasting time and petrol (and consequently pollution) as a result.

Seething doesn’t describe it! And all the noble words I spout off to others about letting go of angst came back to mock, along with berating myself for being such an idiot. So, as well as an idiot, am also a hypocrit!

Finally, back absorbed in work again, I gained some balance and relief, forgiving myself my mistake – as I would others. Finally!

How many times as parents, I wonder, have we been forgiving and comforting to the children for their mistakes, yet carry on berating ourselves for our own?

Go on – be honest – do you offer the same comfort and forgiveness to yourself as you do them? Have you ever thought about it?

Maybe you could. Maybe it would help sometimes.

And maybe we could practice the same forgiveness and approach to dealing with the mistakes we inevitably make as parents – especially home educating parents – all the time, by owning it, by sorry if it involves them, by learning how to do it differently next time, and thereby demonstrating to the kids a valuable life lesson; not only about forgiveness. But also, just as important; that parents are equally worth the same consideration and respect that we show to them. A lesson on how to forgive oneself – how to make mistakes and move on, a useful part of learning about life!

Just an observation.

And talking of learning, I’ve now put in place a strategy for hopefully not doing the same thing again!

Now my daughters are home educating me!

I got in a right stress making the little talk on You Tube. I’m not good in front of the camera. filmmaking 010

“You can take a break and swallow, mum” advises the photographer in the family, grinning from behind the lens. ‘I can always cut bits out’.

Her skills with the camera and technology far exceed mine. Pity she can’t do anything about my grimace, I thought, as I try and rid my mouth of the fur balls that seem to have filled it.

When I look at it later I cringe with embarrassment.

“We can all think we look rubbish on film at times,” reassures the performer in the family when I whinge at her down the telephone and recount our film making adventures. “Play with the setting and light, and make sure you have something on that helps skin tone and things like that.”

I was picking out all the things wrong with it when I realised something; they were using the same strategy on me that I’d used when they were here full time home educating. Namely; polish up your courage, do it don’t judge it, use all errors to learn from, and above all have another go.

Throughout our home educating days, mistakes, or not getting it right first time, were a valuable opportunity to grow, discover and point us in the right direction. Not the mountain of shame that’s often associated with them in a classroom.

Mistakes mean you’re having a go a something new that’s obviously a challenge. When you’re challenging yourself, you’re growing and learning. Examining your not-quite-right attempts in an analytical (not self-demeaning) way teaches you things about yourself and your skills that will be developmental.

But being overly critical or judgemental in a personal or negative way is of no value to the learning process at all. Getting it wrong is a positive opportunity to learn, which helps us grow and extend who we are.

It took a while for the girls to recover from the scars of schooling where getting it wrong was terrible, humiliating, and a cause for pain. Now they set themselves challenges and see them as an opportunity for growth. Getting it right or wrong in the early stages of growth is not personal. And not a crime.

They were both so beautifully encouraging when I was having a go at this. And morally supportive. Stayed on my side. Helped me push on through the tricky bits.

This is just what any learner needs, me included.

I changed some things round in the film. And did it anyway – as I’ve always told them to do. (Funny how we forget our own words). We none of us ever have to be perfect, I was always telling them that too. And yes; they fired that one straight back at me right away.

Thank you girls, for continuing to home educate me!

(If you missed it last week you can watch the film on Youtube here)