Recently my favorite TVLand Aunt along with many other moms have been making headlines for allegedly doing things to help get their children into good schools. Lots of people jumped to their defense saying they were only helping their children like any good mother would. Many even said of Aunt B, “She was just being a good mom and doing what she had to do.” There are varying opinions on if/why this happened. No matter where you stand on the issue, I wanted to share what I have learned from Aunt B.
- There isn’t a shortcut for life that I can buy for my children. It’s okay to believe that your children should have the best of everything in life. As a mother, you better believe I want my children to get the best education and go to a college that will prepare them for their dream job. I want my kids to have the most amazing adult lives possible! My momness means I don’t want them to struggle through any of that. I would love to be able to pave the road for them so that they don’t have to work as hard as I did. That means I must teach my children that life takes work and perseverance. I can’t do it for them. Aunt B swooped in to save. Instead of saving, I’d rather be proactive and teach my children how to put in the hard work ahead of time.
- It’s okay to make a mistake. It’s okay for us and even our children to make a mistake from time-to-time, even day-to-day (or perhaps hour-to-hour!) Admitting that you made a mistake is a hard lesson to learn. Human nature teaches us to immediately start giving excuses or placing blame on someone else. I need to teach my children that when you make a mistake the world doesn’t stop spinning, but it might get harder for a minute. I will hold your hand through that, but even as your mom, I will not fix it for you. Mistakes help us learn and move forward. They help us grow and develop strategies to prevent future mistakes.
- Accepting consequences may be uncomfortable. Accountability is key. Do you remember how nice and neat Aunt B would solve a problem in TVLand? She usually did it in 30 minutes or less! The trick was it always had the same recipe: own up to the mistake, show remorse, feel love/safety, and accept consequences. From that, I have learned I need to teach my children that there is no problem too bad to fix, as long as they are honest. I will always love them and provide a safe place; their mistake doesn’t change that at all. Because of that love, I will also hold them accountable for what they did and offer a consequence that helps them learn how to not make that mistake again. Mistakes are missing skills. I don’t want to be the mom in 20 years rushing to save my adult child because I never taught them the missing skill when they were younger.
Think of how much Aunt B could’ve avoided if she had taken the time to teach instead of rescue. Instead of always swooping in, let’s learn from her and teach our children how to avoid mistakes, but more importantly how to accept responsibility and grow from them.