“My child would never do that!”

Have you ever found yourself on the defensive when it comes to your kids? After all, who knows them better than you?

As a teacher I used to raise an eye brow to parents who gave me this response. I’d rationally wonder why and how they could believe everything their little darling was saying – when it seemed to me their child would say anything to avoid losing iPad rights or hanging with their friends at the skate park.

But of course, that was when I was a teacher and not a parent. Now that I am a parent I can understand.

It’s hard to accept that your child makes less-than-ideal decisions when you are trying so hard to model thoughtfulness and responsibility. It’s very easy to puff up your chest when your child receives an award, gets chosen for a team or very simply receives a compliment. But what’s our response when the outcome is negative?

At the risk of disrespecting the privacy of my own child, I’m going to share my recent experience in this regard. I discovered some money missing from my bank account (I can tell you are already drawing to a very disastrous conclusion!).

Of course, immediately I blamed my husband. This didn’t go down too well and lead me to investigate further. Trawling through my bank statement I found:

Apple iTunes store…. $32

Apple iTunes store…. $18

Apple iTunes store… $22

And so on, and so forth. Of course, I was straight on to the phone – there was no way I had spent this money and was worried our account was hacked. Adding up the total there was over five hundred dollars spent – this was serious! Concerned, the first question I was asked was ‘who else has a device connected to your card?’

It hit me. But…. My child would never do that!

Oh yes they could… and they did.

Thankfully, Apple were extremely understanding and generously refunded the ‘accidental’ purchases. Now I needed to be understanding and accept that sometimes kids make poor choices and it is not always a direct reflection of me as a parent.

YES, I could have set up better security on my account and YES, I could have been more observant of the iPad, however at the end of the day – kids make mistakes. And so do we.

With all this behind us, these situations do bring upon opportunities for our children (and us) to learn and grow. Though it was stressful, it was important to have open conversations with our children to ensure they recognise the impact of their actions and problem solve more responsible future actions.

We all make mistakes, but our mistakes should not define us. Mistakes can be fixed and remembered as life lessons.

FYI – My life lesson, don’t link your credit card to your kid’s device. I’m passing this knowledge on for FREE.