It is highly unlikely that we will not disappoint our adult children; after all, we’re still part of the human race and being a parent doesn’t immunize us from hurting or disappointing our children. It can happen many ways, but doing something that we’ve taught them not to do is probably one of the most common ways and greatly confuses our children. I would think the first thought they would have would be “he’s a fake” and it would be hard to argue against that. Then we make matters worse by saying something trite like “do as I say not as I do” or we offer a lame excuse, or worse, outright lie about it.
It seems that we parents are the most influential people in the lives of our children until they become teenagers. We are still influencers, but we compete with peers, teachers, movie stars and others during the tumultuous teen years; more often than not, if we are blessed to still be around, we will become the main influencers again at some later time.
We don’t usually get a lot of feedback when we’ve disappointed our adult children so it can be difficult to know when we’ve crossed the line. Maybe they still respect us as parents to just not point out our mistakes if they aren’t too bad. But we usually know if we’ve really overstepped our bounds by body language or verbal notification.
Recommendations for times we disappoint our adult children:
1. Ensure actions align with words. They are quite astute at recognizing inconsistencies in our lives.
2. Closely watch body language for signs that you have let them down or disappointed them.
3. When you do, own it. Admit you missed the mark and immediately apologize.
4. Always choose love. Make sure they know you love them in spite of your failures.