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Mistakes, Mess Ups, and Do-Overs Part 2

A parent or teacher can inspire a student with three easy steps.

First, parents or teachers can start by telling students to admit their mistakes. To make this easier, they can let the student know they have made mistakes as well. This makes the person not feel alone. Knowing someone else has messed up, can make a huge difference in whether they want to listen to the message. Admitting a mistake is the first step to healing. Many times we do not want to admit a mistake because of a word called pride. Pride makes us shut down, avoid, or defend what we have done. We must let go of our pride and admit our shortcomings for healing to begin.

Second, we want to support students by telling them to try again. We want to stand alongside them and give them encouragement as they face their fears. We have to teach resilience by making sure students never give up. When my brother was in High School, the football team had a motto of NNNNNNNNNNNGU. People put this on their car windows, and signs all over town. It meant never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, give up. It had a huge impact on going to State and winning the championship. The whole town was behind them. When students know they have someone behind them, they can overcome anything.

Third, we want to be sure they move forward. Many times when we make a mistake, we hold on to that mistake. We hold one to the guilt and shame that comes with that mistake. We don't let go and we beat ourselves up for making it in the first place. This does not allow us to learn from the mistake but wallow in the mistake. Wallowing is for pigs in mud, we do not want to be pigs in mud, do we? We want to get up from the mud pit and step out and try again.

In Luke 15 a boy leaves his father to venture out into the world with his inheritance. After seeing what the world had to offer, he realizes he took for granted the life he had at his father's house. When he was eating with the pigs, he thought, "My dad would let me be a servant if I returned home. Because even being a servant in his dad's house was better than eating and wallowing with the pigs in the mud. When he returns, his father doesn't let him come home and serve, the father welcomes him with open arms! The father doesn't let him dwell on the mistake, he helps him let it go. He provides a feast and celebrates the son's homecoming! We have to help students move from hopeless to hopeful.

Life is hard, but it doesn't have to be. We need to help others see that a mistake is a mistake, and it does not mean that there is no redemption. It does not mean you are worthless, and canceled. You can overcome it!

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