Don't Hold It Against Them
My wife bumped into a former student and his mom over the weekend.
This was a challenging student who spent many an afternoon in the Assistant Principal's office. And my wife gave him a big hug as if they were life-long friends. The former student's mom thanked my wife for all she did to try to keep him out of trouble when he was in middle school.
My wife told the mom, "I've always known he's a good person. And I wouldn't want people to hold it against me what I did in middle school."
This made me think back to when I was in middle school. And thank GAWD people aren't holding against me the things I did back then...yet!
Mooning cars, throwing water balloons into traffic, stealing candy bars...these were but a few of the dumb things I did when I was in middle school. And underneath the bad decisions was always a good person.
It's easy as adults to take it personally when our kids or our students or our players do dumb things. It's easy to get frustrated when they don't meet the expectations we have grown to understand as common sense. Let's face it, middle schoolers (and teenagers in general) are kind of dumb. But they're kind of dumb from the perspective of an adult.
We were dumb once too. And in order to grow through our respective dumb phases, we had to do dumb things. Making mistakes is the only way we really learn anything.
So if your kid, student, or player is driving you crazy today, remember that you were that age once before. Remember that you drove your parents, teachers, and coaches crazy as well. Don't take it personal as an affront to you. Try on a little patience and try to help them grow through this phase of dumb decisions.
Make it a great day!