My kids have responsibilities. My Chemical Romance can’t do everything — well he probably could but there aren’t enough hours in the day. I don’t want to do dishes, EVER; we don’t have a garbage disposal here and that’s just disgusting.
So the kids do a lot.
And they inevitably screw up.
Just like we all screw up — once, My Chemical Romance was installing a new lock in our front door and he used his drill too… hard? Fast?… and the glass around the door shattered. Recently I broke a ceramic-top range by smashing frozen vegetables on top of it.
We all screw up.
But my family seems to be caught in this blame game — it’s usually the FIRST comment. “Who left the peanut butter on a trail from the kitchen to the back door, and now there’s a family of raccoons eating at the dining room table?!?!”
That was a fictitious example.
My goal as a parent is not to prevent screw-ups but to teach my children how to fix them when they inevitably happen.
First, of course, they happen. And if it’s a situation where someone is bleeding or a dog is running off toward a course full of golfers or glass has shattered all over the floor, I sure as hell don’t want to immediately start to BLAME someone.
I want to assess the bleeding, catch the dog or clean up the glass. Then, MAYBE, we can talk about what happened and how to prevent it in the future.
But, really, they usually know.
note: that’s a frog they found at the pool; not a screw up.
So, I’m working on not immediately blaming someone when I witness a screw up. Nor rolling my eyes or sighing loudly. Because that’s just as much showing annoyance (that implies blame?) than anything else.
I’m going to work on it, as a summer goal for myself. I want to set a good example for them.
Also, I’m going to remind the kids that screw-ups/accidents happen. They happen to everyone. And that’s what makes is human, and we treat people with kindness, which is a lesson I hope they already know.
Wish us luck!