Mindful Parent Series Week 1 – Forgiveness
Within this article how to teach your child to forgive in the modern world we will delve into the importance of teaching forgiveness to your child. Through First-hand experience and research. It has proven how a child’s mental health can be helped with the forgiveness technique and how it can future strengthen their mind, into adulthood
I have two children aged 7 and 2. This will be part of a weekly series released every Sunday. Discussing what I have learned and applied to raise my children. One of the most important parts of life. Is giving your child all the skills they need to prosper in all parts of their life. Learning forgiveness is one of them.
I hope this helps!
Why Has Forgiveness Become Important In The Modern World
The modern world today has many pitfalls for our mental health. Children especially have to deal with all different pressures based on their circumstances. It could be never-ending exams and extensive pressure to do well at school. It could be child poverty, social pressures online or overbearing parents too.
With a rise amongst teenagers with anxiety and depression. There are many challenges children are going through that as adults and parents we can defiantly help with.
With such a competitive world we live in. Any shortcoming or mistakes can be seen as a massive failure in a child’s eyes if we let it.
My Own Parenting Experiences
I have personally made sure my 7-year-old is fully prepared with his education Also making sure he lives up to our adult expectations from morning routines to how to act at a dinner table.
These high expectations have of course led to him making mistakes. It can be anything from forgetting to brush his teeth upon awakening. To being worried if he gets an answer wrong with his work.
Of course, as parents, we should push our children to be the best they can be. This will help prepare them for the modern world but not at the expense of their mental health. I too throughout my own life have put many demands and expectations on myself. When I haven’t delivered the mental toll has been damaging.
Forgiveness of a mistake was not even thought of. It was seen as a personal weakness on my part with a sense of failure. This is something I do not want for my children.
Why Forgiveness For Themselves Is Important
Upon reading The Willpower instinct by Kelly McGonigal she details that “self-criticism is consistently associated with less motivation and worse self-control. It is also one of the single biggest predictors of depression. Whereas self-compassion – being supportive or kind to yourself, especially in the face of stress and failure – is associated with more motivation and better self-control.”
This shows brilliantly the importance of teaching forgiveness to children at a young age. So they can get into good mental health habits to benefit them for the future.
She further goes on to say that forgiveness helps people recover from mistakes because it takes away any shame and pain of thinking about what happened.
Forgiveness definitely helps you get back on track from what studies have shown. Here are some techniques you can apply with your children to get them back on track after a setback.
- Ask what are they feeling?
- Making sure they understand there human, like everyone else?
- What would you say to a friend if they were self-critical?
How To Explain Forgiveness To A Child
There are two types of forgiveness, inner forgiveness and outer forgiveness of others. We explained to our 7-year old that forgiveness is like a weight on our back. The more we don’t forgive the heavier the weight will get where over time the weight will be too much to carry.
We also explained to him that forgiveness can not be forced upon you to do. The decision has to be fully yours and on your terms. This allows the child to take control of their emotions and what they want to do with them. This is powerful and will lead to a better understanding of themselves and how to deal with their emotion.
We then went on to say forgiveness of others does not have to be straight away when you are highly emotional or forgiving someone should never be forgetting what someone else has done as we don’t want to be scorned twice. But it’s letting go of any negative emotion when you’re ready to move on with your life.
When it came to forgiving himself. We told him that every human is imperfect. Full of mistakes after mistakes which you will always get when you are learning and growing. It’s just part of life. And by understanding we are in imperfect human beings forgiving ourselves for making mistakes is important to grow faster and to be at peace with who we are.
Letting a child know this can take a huge weight off their shoulders and that it’s normal to make mistakes and it will allow them not to dwell but seek the advancement of themselves on their own terms, not ours.
Activities For Children To Practice Forgiveness
How To Teach Your Child To Forgive In The Modern World can come from the activities we teach our children. Here are a few that have helped us with our son.
- Having a personal journal
- Roleplay Forgiveness
- Naikan Therapy
- Online worksheets
What We Learned As Parents About Forgiveness
From educating ourselves on the power of forgiveness and applying activities to help him deal with his emotions. It has allowed to an improvement within himself and of course his own mental health. His preparation for the modern world will be definitely benefited from using this technique.
Something that can hold us all back in some way can be utilised for us as parents too.
As parents, we can be very self-critical of ourselves and what we could and should have done. The same principle applies to parenting we must forgive ourselves for our own mistakes as we are multi-facet parents who have to take on many different roles and can never be perfect all the time.
Also, we must forgive our children as well for all the mistakes they make and give them the power to make mistakes through their learning of themselves and the modern world they live in. Be by their side at every turn to pick them back up again.
“The more we learn to forgive ourselves as a child the fewer things we have to worry about as an adult”Adam Smith
Over To You Parents
I hope you enjoyed the start of this week’s Mindful Parent Series opener on how to teach your child to forgive in the modern world.
There’s always so much to learn when it comes to parenting and I hope you can apply any of the tips above to good use.
We would love to hear your own stories of mindful parenting and any topics you would like to read.
Happy Parenting = Happy Child
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