I recorded an interview for National Women’s Health Week (coming up after Mother’s Day), and we were discussing mindfulness and parenting. “How does mindfulness support our parenting?” my interviewer asked me. Many ways, of course, but one of the things we discussed is how it allows us to observe, with humility, when we have made a mistake. Because we are not as defensive or ego-constrained, and are open to the possibility that our mistakes are not reflective of our innate worth, we can own them in the spirit of relationship repair.
This, of course, is true in the context of our teaching, where we are bound to make mistakes. I make them all the time. But I remember reading a long time ago that it is far more valuable to a relationship with our children and students (or anyone, for that matter) to make mistakes and repair them than to never have a conflict. When we repair those relationships, we assure the young people in our lives that we can withstand conflict and difficulty, and that the bond is stronger than a disagreement. We model humility, how to apologize, and repairing mistakes. We show them how to be confident in who we are by owning our mistakes.