I don’t mean to frustrate, but

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

I always make the same mistakes.

I’m not bad at love (and that’s a Halsey lyric, in case you don’t have a Top 40 loving kid in the house), but that always make the same mistakes part? I got that down.

I burn nuts and garlic toast, every single time.

I always believe I can get places faster than I actually can (and sometimes, at speeds that would require me to travel backwards in time).

And if I told you how many times I’ve had a half-gallon of milk fall out of the SUV when I open the hatch onto the garage floor and break, you probably wouldn’t believe me. Suffice it to say I don’t even buy glass bottles any more. Sorry, environment.

My kids all have some sure-fire misses, too. Gonna order the same old same old on the menu and then want someone else’s food? Yep. Gonna pour that tea and then not have time to drink it in the morning? Yep. Gonna lose your temper at a sibling and get in more trouble than they will for your reaction? Yep.

Sometimes, a little piece of who we are makes it hard to learn certain lessons. We might be impatient, or optimistic, or crave security. It takes a while to know ourselves well enough to know what traits move us, and even longer to know what adjustments we can make that will make us happier in the long run.

And we might be talking decades.

So cut yourself some slack on the recurring errors, and look for the root cause instead of playing the “I’m so stupid, I always do this” tape. Say it out loud so your kids can hear, too—I know I’ll underestimate how long it takes to get to the eye doctor, so I’m adding fifteen minutes. Let’s leave now. 

Or, my favorite:I’m toasting the nuts! I’m broiling the bread! I’m going to stand right here and not walk away because I”m not burning it! Even though I’m so bored! I’m not walking away!

Kids hate listening when we remind them that they’re falling into a recurring and preventable trap, but say it anyway. They hear us. Maybe, when they’re forty, the voice inside their head will saytake a deep breathinstead of you’re such an idiot.

You’re not bad at love, my friend, or even bad at toasting nuts. Bad at learning from experience, maybe, but that’s a frustration most of us share.

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