Sunday, August 30, 2009

A fresh start today

You can't go back and make a new start.
But you can start today to make a new end.

This is a saying that is used by people who are struggling with recovery from addiction. This can give hope to all of us when we have gotten ourselves into a jam and don't think we can ever leave this mistake behind us. We can. And each day is a fresh start on the rest of our lives.

How often do we remind kids or other family members over and over again about the mistakes they have made? "You always forget to do ____." or "When are you going to ever learn ____?" Yes, we get frustrated that learning often seems to take a long time, but it did for us when we were kids, too. It still does! And this kind of message isn't what helped us finally get beyond and grow up. This kind of message left us feeling like we would never get there. It deflates self esteem.

After a time out, or a consequence as a result of an inappropriate behavior, we can actively put this behind us and encourage the child to do the same. For ourselves, when we make a mistake, when we respond too harshly, we can apologize and start fresh today or even the next moment with kindness. Yes, children need redirection. They need our help to learn and grow. They do not need us to "bark" at them with commands. We learn too, day by day. I learn day by day, as I work on things that trip me up and keep me from being the best person I can be, toward myself and other people.

Thankfully, today is a new day.

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