“We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.”
Having a few years of fatherhood behind me, it is easy to be tempted to look back and dwell on what I wished I had done better. There were times when I wasn’t patient with my children, when I put my needs before theirs, or did not respond to them as quickly as I should have. As with any important endeavor, it is easy to beat yourself up about it, especially if you try to compare yourself to others.
I have a wonderful example of fatherhood in my own father, but I have to remember that he has decades of experience at it. When I look back on my childhood, I am able to focus on the good things my father did and taught me, and I know that I should do the same for myself. My parenting hasn’t always been perfect, but I sure have learned from my mistakes. That’s what makes George Washington’s advice so poignant as a father—my experience has been dearly-bought, and I would be a fool not to learn from it when I can, and then leave it alone when I cannot.
Question: What parenting mistakes can you learn from in your life? How will you use them as a springboard to progress?