The value of parental mistakes

Tina Payne Bryson, PhD Psychotherapist and Author, explains how parents mess up all the time, and how it is important to learn from mistakes and apologize to children if you lose it with them
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The value of parental mistakes

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When we mess up as parents -- and we do it all the time. Sometimes we yell or we are impatient or actually act more immature than our children. It's just a function of being in the trenches of parenting. It happens. Actually, those moments can be very valuable. Of course, that's not what we are striving for; but since they happen anyway, we can think of what our children's experiences around them. First of all, if we can model for them and go back and say, "You know what? I really messed up. I didn't handle that way. I'm really sorry about how I talked to you a little while ago." We are modeling for them and showing them how to repair and how to make amends when something goes wrong. And they learn that relationships can have ruptures and times of tension and conflict, and then they are okay. That gives them a lot of hope in the future when they have conflicts in their relationship, knowing that things will be okay again. It also shows them, that their behavior affects how other people feel. All of these times as parents we mess up, can actually be valuable moments.

Tina Payne Bryson, PhD Psychotherapist and Author, explains how parents mess up all the time, and how it is important to learn from mistakes and apologize to children if you lose it with them

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Tina Payne Bryson, PhD

Psychotherapist & Author

Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, is a psychotherapist at Pediatric and Adolescent Psychology Associates in Arcadia, California, where she sees children and adolescents, as well as provides parenting consultations. She is the school counselor at St. Marks Episcopal School in Altadena, CA, and a Developmental Consultant to Camp Chippewa for Boys. She speaks to parents, educators, and clinicians all across the country. Dr. Bryson earned her PhD from the University of Southern California, where her research explored attachment science, childrearing theory, and the emerging field of interpersonal neurobiology. Her best-selling book The Whole-Brain Child (co-authored with Dr. Dan Siegel) gives parents practical ways to transform difficult moments into opportunities for children to thrive.  Dr. Bryson has written for a large number of publications, most recently the PBS series “This Emotional Life.”  She lives near Los Angeles with her husband and three children.  

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