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Meta-Gift from Parenting—mistakes are how we learn 🧞‍♂️

3things jordan myska allen personal growth relatefulness stayinlove Dec 22, 2022


The well-known maxim "show don’t tell"—aka "what you do is so much stronger than what you say"—is really clear in parenting. Children only come to understand complex language and philosophy over time, but they understand action while they’re still in the womb. What’s less evident to us parents, especially when we’re focused on diapers and sleep, is how this implies that getting more conscious about what drives our actions, and how we relate with the world around us, especially our partners, is absolutely crucial in raising children, since it determines what we do. Our "shadow work" is critical; we will pass on what we’re unaware of without realizing it. If we want our kids to be present, we have to be present. If we want them to find their passion instead of overworking, we’ve got to make sure we’re living passionate lives where we don’t overwork.

This would feel overwhelming, but there’s another hidden implication that I find extremely encouraging. Anytime we screw up or act from less than our best intentions, we have the chance to teach-via-modeling that mistakes are how we learn, and live in integrity by taking responsibility for the consequences. I think of "mistakes are how we learn" as a meta-skill or a meta-gift; it’s like a genie that lets you wish for more wishes.

Life is full of meta-gifts. We’re all learning from each other’s ways of being all the time. Parenting just makes these opportunities a little more obvious.


With love, Jordan


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