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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Learning From My Mistakes


I believe it is necessary to be honest with your children... When my kids ask me questions about my colorful past I answer them... Of course, I will not go into the microscopic details...but I do tell enough to answer the questions... My kids need to see me as a person who has made mistakes... who has made HUGE mistakes and has overcome them... or at least has learned from them... I am not proud of the things I have done but I do believe that my mistakes and experiences have helped me to have better discernment... have better BS detection... and have an understanding of the way the world is... the way my kids' world is.... I am not naive... As I have told my kids many times...
Been There.... Done That.... Wrote The Book! Nothing they can think up or do or want to do would surprise me... or shock me.... I am a woman... I was a teenager.. I was a child... and my memory is long.. my memory is great... my feelings and emotions were once like theirs... and in many ways still is....

I don't want my kids to learn from others my life's story.... I don't want secrets.. I don't want shame.... A good friend of mine told me a story once about her experience with a "secret".. A "secret" that she wasn't ready to share with her thirteen (13) year old daughter.... She told me how a good friend of hers was watching her kids.... and this "good" friend of hers decided to tell the story of her mother's (my friend) abortion.... On that night - my friend's daughter lost her innocence... lost seeing her mom as perfect.... It took many years for my friend and her daughter to make peace with this... the pain... the shame... the damage that was inflicted by a careless "friend"..... Today - my friend and her daughter are advocates for pro-life... and my friend made peace with God.... But this story should never have been told by the "friend" - it's a story that should have had the chance to be told by my friend...

In my honesty to my children - I want them to learn from my experiences... from my joys.. from my happiness.. from my sorrows.. and yes, from my mistakes... They will make plenty of their own mistakes and I pray they will learn and grow from them... But if my experiences can help them to avoid some of the pitfalls of life... I hope... I pray that they will....

11 comments:

  1. It's good for kids to hear about their parents mistakes. They already know we aren't perfect. I can't believe that someone would tell a 13 year old about her mothers abortion though. That was definitely not the friends place.

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  2. GASP!!!! YOUCH!!! I hurt myself when I fainted. I think I'm alright now. You have a past? Whatever do you mean by that? LOL! Hey! Seriously?! I probably have a similar sorted past that I also am not proud of. To be honest, I'm rather ashamed of. Nonetheless, it has shaped me to be the person I am. One thing I do emphasize when I discuss my past with my daughter is that I wasn't a Christian then. I also remind her what an amazing life she has been able to have because she does know Him. :) As for that "friend", you don't want to know what I think. :)

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  3. Good for you. I also honestly answer my child's questions. Hiding things from him will only teach him not to trust me. He should know that there is at least one person in his life that he can trust to give him the truth.

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  4. You are a very smart lady! We can all learn from our mistakes and our children need to know & see that, so they know that they can always be forgiven and redeemed!

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  5. My kids think I was a goody goody when I was in high school. I was NOT and so therefore like you, I was very on top of them when they were in high school. They didn't get away with a thing, but fortunately they were good seeds, not bad ones like me. I told myself that when my youngest turns 21 (one more year), I'm gonna go ahead and tell them about my underage drinking, etc. Until then...I'm passing. LOL

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  6. It's hard when your kids figure out you are not perfect and can't fix everything. I'm hoping to hang on to the magic for a little bit longer:)

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  7. That's one of the things I loved most about my mom - she had "been there" and "done that" and was very honest about it. Instead of seeing her as flawed and being ashamed {as many parents fear}, I saw her as someone who I could go to and not be judged. She also had the best advice because it was REAL, "from experience" advice. I feel like we respected her more for being open and honest with us about stuff...

    Thank you for reminding me {us} of this valuable wisdom!

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  8. You're such a good Mom. I'm sure they know that they can come to you and talk about anything.

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  9. You seem like an excellent, very grounded mother. Your kids must realize what an amazing gift of trust they have in you. Great post.

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  10. I feel the same way, I just hope and pray I know *when* is the right time to tell them those things, so they aren't ever surprised by them, like hearing me speaking about it to someone else or it being brought up by another person in front of them.

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  11. Well said! I think it's important for parents to be real with their kids vs. putting on a "perfect" front. I always asked God before I had kids (and many times since I've had them) to enable me to be a parent that apologizes when I've made a mistake. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for your kind comments! I'm going to go back and read through yours - great stuff! MIKI

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