How you react to your child's mistakes can make or break how they approach life itself. Do you want to make them feel guilty for it or do you want them to learn from it?
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on January 31, 2020. It has since been updated.
There's possibly nothing worse than a child feeling like she isn't worthy of love. While disciplining your daughter, the wrong words can leave her with scars that could last her a lifetime. Here is how this mom dealt with that difficult task, according to Good Morning America.
When Rosie Lamphere, co-founder of the blog Play At Home Mom, shared an incident that occurred where her children put a hole in the wall, she explained how she addressed the situation with her three daughters, Sienna, 8, Mia, 9, and Briella, 11.
Taking to Facebook, she wrote: "Our girls were messing around yesterday. One of them happened to put their body through the drywall. My nine year old came downstairs crying and frantic saying she had to show me something. I walked upstairs to the damaged wall. The remorse was already displayed all over her body."
"She didn’t need me to make her feel guilty.
She didn’t need me to shame her.
She didn’t need me to make an already crappy situation worse.
I know you are.
'Daddy is going to be so mad!!! I’m not ready to tell him yet.'
That is OK. When you are ready, you will tell him.
She knew. She knew that he was the one most impacted by this. He would be the one taking time from his day to fix this. I walked downstairs and told my husband. The kids put a hole in the wall. A big one. M is really upset about it. She’s working up the courage to come and tell you about it."
Rosie said, together with her husband, that they had to make a decision about how to handle such a delicate moment.
"We have two choices here.
1. Scream and yell and make her feel more awful than she already does.
2. Accept that little girl for each bit of awesome that she is... even in her mistakes. To realize that it was SO hard for her to come down and tell you how she made a mistake.
Our response will 100% determine how she comes to us with mistakes in the future.
How do you respond? Today, my daughter walks around with a little more trust. She walks around feeling loved and connected. She walks around knowing that she can tell her parents anything and that she is safe. This was the best gift I could ever receive this Christmas. And yes. She still feels sorry. She offered to not receive any Christmas presents this year, all her savings, and her time to help fix it. She didn’t need screaming parents to make her feel this. She did it all on her own."
It's small moments like these can shape your daughter's future. If they had gone with the first choice, who knows how the young girl might have carried that wound into her adult life. And it's understandable that it can be difficult to know the line of disciplining without hurting your daughter's self-esteem. So here are some ways that you can instill good values in your daughter without her feeling like she isn't worth your love:
1. Hear her out when she's trying to explain herself — It would have taken a lot of courage for her to come to you and own up to her mistake. Let her know that mistakes are okay but that she'll need to learn that she also has to deal with the consequences. Give her the chance to learn from her error and grow mature. Her trust in you will ensure she won't have trust issues.
2. Be her role model — Just as you tell her that taking responsibility is important, show her that you can do it as well and learn from your mistakes. Because as a child, she looks to you to mold her into a smart and beautiful woman. She wants to step into your shoes.
3. Tell her you are proud of her — No matter how small her achievement might seem, appreciate it and show her your pride. It's that happiness that she will carry into adulthood, knowing that her mother was proud of her. It'll do wonders for her self-esteem and self-confidence.
4. Allow her to feel her emotions fully — As she grows, it's going to be a hard time for her to handle her emotions. So no matter how frustrated you might be, you know that the best course of action is to keep from dismissing them. When she learns to control how she deals with them, she'll know that you were there with her through her toughest times.
5. Don't ever forget to tell her you love her — Life truly is short and in that time, we need to fill it with love. Your daughter needs you and loves you unconditionally. By telling her you love her, she is constantly reminded that there is always someone in her corner, ready to hold her when she falls. And soon enough, the bond between you two will be stronger than ever, creating something special. She will know that she is worthy of love and will go through life, truly living.
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.