Firstly, I want my kids to be able to forgive those the jerks they come across out in public. I want them to know that it’s usually not personal, and if it is, it may be because they’ve learned that behaviour from someone else doing it to them. Maybe the person being a jerk is just having a bad day. Whatever the reason, I want to teach my kids to put themselves in the other’s shoes and see if they can figure out why that person behaves that way. I want to make little anthropologists out of them. I want my kids to try and talk to the other and ask how they’re doing. See if they can help in some way. If it helps, great. They made a new friend, or at least gained some insight into how others think. If that kid still wants to be a jerk, then at least they’ve learned another important life lesson: some people are just plain assholes.
I also want my kids to have the strength to forgive a loved one who messes up. This is something I had to learn well into adulthood. Even people you love can do crappy things. The fact that love is involved makes it more difficult to make peace with the other’s mistake. I want them to know that holding on to the anger or hurt that the loved one caused is more detrimental to themselves, than to the other person. Even if no remorse is shown, it’s still better to forgive, for your own sake. I just hope it isn’t me they’re going to have to try to forgive.
Which brings me to the one type of forgiveness I want my kids to learn the most: To forgive themselves. They’re going to screw up. They’re going to get bad grades, detentions, and maybe even suspensions at school. They’re going to burn things on the stove, blow things up in the microwave, overflow the bathtub, spill crap on the rug, crash my car. The list goes on and on. It’s all going to happen. I want to teach them to go easy on themselves. No pressure is worse than the pressure you can put on yourself. Life is full of bad decisions. The trick is to learn from the mistakes and move forward.
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong”. – Mahatma Ghandi
What is GetConnectDAD?
@GetConnectDAD is an international project focused on One goal: More ConnectDAD families. We are 100 writers from around the world, focused on 52 Traits we want in our children.
To understand the drive behind GetConnectDAD, please click the link for a deeper explanation!
How Can You Help?
I am glad you asked.
If you have something to say, please consider writing on one (or more) of our features throughout this year. If you aren’t a writer but have an interest in PodCasting, Vlogging, YouTube Dancing, or any other form of art, please feel free to join us.
The kindest thing you can do is share our journey with your friends and families. We are very focused on reaching the men and women who might not think reading a parent site is ‘cool.’ The best way for you to help is to make GetConnectDAD part of your daily dialogue on Facebook (and other social media outlets…they are located directly to the right of this column).
We have a very active Twitter community. We are growing at a rate of 60-100 new followers per day. Please join us there as we have a great ecosystem of resources you might find useful!
We aren’t actively sending out information via email; however, please join 3000+ parents who are interested in a weekly summary of the articles we have published.
We appreciate your reading this and hope for only the best for you and your family.