Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right

We’ve all heard the expression, “Two wrongs don’t make a right”, but what does this really mean? What lesson are we trying to teach our kids when we repeat this mantra that we heard from our parents, who heard if from their parents, and so on? Traditionally, we were told this in an attempt to teach us it is not okay to have “pay backs” or take revenge on someone for a wrong that was done to us. Of course this is a valid interpretation and we should encourage our children to check in with their IGS before responding to a hurt. This will help them know whether or not their action is based in fear or anger, or is a loving response. There is another story behind this adage that is just as true. We have all had the experience of making a wrong decision in our lives. At least once or twice! Sometimes we may have even tried to “fix” the wrong by doing something that we knew in our gut was also wrong, but we thought was the only way out of the situation. Maybe we were trying to protect a friend, or ourselves, but in any event we found ourselves heading down a rabbit hole and didn’t know how to get out. It is not a disgrace to make a wrong decision. It is part of experiencing life and learning to determine what we do want and what we do not want. The important thing is what we do after making that wrong choice.  Do we try to hide the fact that we did it or do we own up to our mistake? No one enjoys getting into trouble, but in the long run ‘fessing up’ is usually less painful then trying to hide our mistake or live with a lie. It is important for parents to demonstrate for kids that it is okay to admit to making a mistake—even sometimes a series of mistakes. Depending on the situation, we may actually tell them the process we took to recognize our error and choosing our course of action to get back on track. It is good for kids to know there are often many options to consider after making a mistake. Sometimes a simple apology is the best course, but in other cases we may need to take other action to remedy the situation, such as paying to replace a window we broke while playing baseball. By going through this process with our kids we are coaching them to check in with their own Internal Guidance System before and after they make decisions. They will learn to trust their IGS because it will guide them to make the choices that are in their best interests.

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