We all mess up. It happens. However, when our mess up negatively affects others, merely fixing the mistake is not enough, especially when it’s a child.
Being an adult can be hard. Being a parent is hard. Being an adult that has to deal with children is hard. Making mistakes is inevitable. However, how those mistakes are dealt with is the difference between showing a true servant’s heart and being a cold, unapologetic robot.
As a parent, we have all messed up. A quick, heartfelt apology is always best. To the extent you can fix your mess up, you do it. When the correction causes more trauma, you don’t.
A child does not need to learn from an Adult’s mistake – even an honest mistake. That isn’t teaching the child a lesson. That’s actually showing adults are not accountable for their actions.
“My bad, but you suffer…”
Also, admitting your mistake is good. But the way its handled thereafter matters too. A heavy-hand is not always the best. Being respectful never goes out of style and attempts to deescalate problems is the #1 priority when dealing with these situations.
A wise man once said the referee could throw a flag on every play, wisdom is not doing so. Also, sometimes picking that flag up and waving it off is the right thing to do.
The lesson here is ultimately do the right thing. Protect the child, be honest, but don’t make that child suffer because of your mistake.
Also, it’s NEVER too late to do the right thing!
Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi and advises parents/adults to not make a child suffer because of your mistake.