Today I continue with answering another question from the question series: 36 Questions – How to fall in love, published by the New York Times.
If you want to start at the very beginning with question number one, you will find it here.
And, if you are interested in my response to question number nine, you can find it here.
Question number ten reads as follows:
If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
It is a difficult question to answer, because if I had been raised differently, would it mean that I turned out to be a different person from who I am today? Because if that was the case, my answer will be different. I like the person I became and I am today. My parents had a huge influence on my development, and I am grateful for the love and opportunities they provided me.
What I am going to write is by no means a reproach. I think that nobody is an expert in raising kids and most of it is trial and error and common sense. I think that my task is to build on top of what my parents showed me and how I was raised and then reflect about it to improve things or try a different way.
If I could change one thing, it was to be encouraged to try out more things and, in addition, to be encouraged to make mistakes. Safety plays a big role in my life and I am still struggling how to best deal with it in a different way. In the past, playing it safe was often my preferred mode of action. I know that I inherited a lot of my views on safety from my parents. Be it money or what I should do for a living. And, as you might already know, playing it safe is a very comfortable way to deal with uncertainty.
I mean my dad and my parents in general encouraged me to try out different things. I learned to play the flute, I was doing karate, and I played soccer. I can still remember my dad picking me up from karate to drive me to soccer practice. You can see, they did a lot for me. And writing it down now made me realize that it is not so much about trying out different things, but rather about making mistakes and to be encouraged to make them. Of course, I did a lot of mistakes when I was younger.
I still remember one specific incident from my childhood. I was 7 years old and I played in a soccer team. Unfortunately, we lost this match and afterwards I blamed one of my team mates to be the reason we lost. Of course, this was wrong and I realized this day how wrong it was. The trainer told my parents about it and I remember myself sitting in the back of the car and my parents telling me how disappointed they are in me. I mean I needed to learn this lesson, but I think there was another lesson to learn. In addition to being silent and telling me how disappointed they are, they could have asked me why I did it and how this would make me feel when someone is saying this to me. They could have turned this mistake into a positive learning. With that I mean that what I got was a negative learning experience. Don’t do this or people will be mad and disappointed. I could have learned that and in addition how my actions make others feel. Furthermore, they could have said that it is okay to make mistakes as long as we learn from them.
As I said in the beginning, it is a different question to answer and I turned out to be quite okay =) So, I will try a different way to handle mistakes and I will see what my kids will tell about this in the future.
Have a wonderful day and take care!