Allow Them to Fail

Can you be wrong?  Is it difficult for you to be wrong? 

By admitting when you are wrong, you humble yourself to the idea that you are fallible; capable of making mistakes. This is an important concept to a child who is looking to you for what it means to be a man. Men who “can’t be wrong” have children who feel as if they cannot fail because they want to be like you! Humble yourself, so that your child(ren) will feel like they can make a mistake and you won’t be completely disappointed in them – that is their worst nightmare. What I have come to learn is that a child, in a healthy relationship with their parents, would rather be spanked, or yelled at than to disappoint their heroes (and yes, mom is included in that).

I have volunteered in the Middle and High School ministries at our church for years. The most heartbreaking moments are those when an adolescent boy has been cut to the core by an authentic message from God and is sitting before me in humility confessing sin in his life while in tears because of the severity (in his mind) of what he has done, and he requests for me not to tell his parents because ‘they wouldn’t understand.’ We must allow our kids to fail. Don’t let your children think that you are never wrong, and thereby setting an expectation for them that they can never fail. Remember you set the precedent in their minds about how things should be.

A father who leads in humility has children who understand forgiveness. A father who leads in honesty has children who truly understand what integrity means and who strive to maintain their own. 

“The righteous who walks in his integrity – blessed are his children after him.”

Solomon, Wisest Man of the Ancient World

Kids are smart, and they are great imitators. Don’t let your pride keep you from modeling honesty to your child in a vain effort to be “right.” They know you, and most of the time they know when you are wrong. Be honest, and admit it. You can do this!