This is the lesson we are apparently learning/teaching right now in preschool.
I was so looking forward to the memory obstacle course today. I thought Z would for sure love it, because it's such a FUN activity and he'd get to use his physical strength! Well, I was a bit disappointed because he only sorta-liked it and only because we talked through his frustrations.
Our son gets frustrated when he makes mistakes, when he messes up. Who doesn't, right? But kids are such a great reflection of their parents, and sometimes I just have these light bulb moments where I see what we are really teaching by example.
I explained to Z that mistakes happen, and it's okay, because we can just learn from it and try again.
And I looked into his eyes and saw them change from, "I can't do this! I messed it up! It's hopeless!"... to a skeptical, "Are you sure, Mom?"... to "Oh... okay... really?... okay. I am safe and okay now. I want to try again."
And in that tiny moment when I saw that shift... I just felt so privileged and honored that God gave him to me, to handle with care. And glad that I got to go through that with him. I got to watch him try the obstacle course again, and again, and each time he made a mistake but he was a bit more confident that he could keep going and not give up. I got to encourage him through that.
And is it irony or divine orchestration that we happen to be talking about forgiveness this week, and the story of Joseph forgiving his brothers? Just today, we talked about making bad choices (mistakes), and the opportunity to come before a loving God and be forgiven.
I want our child to learn forgiveness, and many other things. But today it was clear -- our child needs it modeled a wee bit more.
How can I model that mistakes happen and there's a way to not be stuck in frustration and a way not to beat ourselves up??
I can forgive myself.
I can not be so critical.
I can forgive Shane.
I can laugh more and get over it...
He is only a few years old, but this is the way I am challenged as his teacher. As a parent. And so it begins!