Blissful Parenting

♥ When Your Child Makes a Big Mistake ♥

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I was appalled by last night’s epic basketball brawl between Gilas Pilipinas (host) and Australian Boomers. It all started with the offensive foul by Pogoy (Filipino player) on Goulding (Australian player) which Kickert (another Australian player) saw, prompting him to hit Pogoy on the face (or was that his jaw?). The rest, they say is basketball history! According to Gilas coach, Chot Reyes, the Australian player, Kickert had hurt four Filipino players during the warm-up (Cruz, Pogoy, Wright, and Abueva). Filipinos who were watching – athletes, celebrities and fans alike were quick to tweet away their takes on this unfortunate event.

I used to follow Gilas’ games. Let’s say, I was a fan. But, lately, I have not been watching their games as I got busier with my own thing. This may not be a popular reaction but I AM NOT EMBARRASSED WITH WHAT THEY DID (standing on their ground/for their teammates and physically fighting with taller opponents) BUT, I AM NOT PROUD OF IT EITHER. They need to know that what they did was wrong, no matter how one looks at it, even if reports were true that they were allegedly called “monkey people from the monkey land”. To me, they deserve support and understanding, especially in this trying time.

I guess it’s my maternal instinct that is working. If we truly care about a person/people, for example, our children, we do not shame them after one huge mistake. We do not just disown and abandon them just because they did something awful. Hindi mo sila agad pagagalitan, especially in front of other people. You don’t embarrass or correct them publicly. But, of course, they need not be tolerated. They need not be condoned. You somehow still need to tell them that what happened was wrong. In their lapses, they need our understanding and support for them to get back up and correct their mistakes. Inspired by the Gilas and Boomers brawl last night here’s what you can do when your child makes a big mistake:

Offer a prayer. Nothing is more effective than the protection and intervention of our Creator. Pray for them and with them. Show them how you put your trust in the Lord.

Avoid public shaming and preaching. Iba na ang generation ngayon, mommies. Kids of today are more outspoken yet very sensitive. Surely too, they will not appreciate it if you point out their mistakes in public. Besides, it may have a lasting damage to their self-esteem or they may opt for rebellion. Talk to them in private instead.

Do not make excuses for their wrongdoings. Mommies, we should never condone their mistakes. Let them own up to the consequences of their actions. Tolerance is never equal to unconditional love. When you make an excuse for the wrong they did, it will only empower them to repeat the same mistake, thinking what they did was right or that you will always cover up for them.

Encourage them to do what is right. This is especially true for young adults who do not want to be told what they should or should not do. Parents should make some space for their children to figure out the right things and do what is proper on their own initiative. After all, as parents, our main role is to guide them, not to dictate their actions.

Be honest. You should tell them why you think what they did was wrong. And, point out that your act of honesty is part of your unconditional love for them as a parent. Do not sugarcoat too as they may get confused. Just tell them point blank what wrong you think they did and why is that so. Not because you love them, you’ll just turn blind to their mistakes.

Give the right support. Do not support their wrongdoing nor their lack of acceptance of their mistake and moreover their refusal to apologize. Support their decision to amend their mistakes and start over again. Also, support them while they are still at the stage of confusion, hoping (and helping) they’ll soon realize their mistakes. It’s normal to get disappointed especially when you are expecting more from them. It’s natural but your disappointment should motivate them to correct their mistakes and it should not stop you from guiding them back to the right path.

In life, it is inevitable that we make mistakes (sometimes huge) which could hurt other people. I find parents’ role during these trying times very significant to the person who was mistaken and wanted/needed to rise, get another chance and start all over again. We all make mistakes. And, we all need a good support system for us to realize our mistakes, amend them, apologize to those people we have wronged and eventually turn a new leaf. We all deserve a second chance, and maybe, a third, and a fourth.

As for the Gilas, well, we are not their parents but, personally, I’ll gladly be part of their support system right now. But, what they did was not cool. Not cool at all.

Featured Image from Estée Janssens on Unsplash


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