Don’t know it all
By Stacy LaMorte
It is important for our children to know that we don’t know it all, that we don’t have all the answers. Having three teenagers is a humbling experience. When our kids come to us with questions when they are little, we usually have the answers that they seek because their questions are quite simple.
However, when they get older, these questions become more complex.
As a teacher I learned that kids were going to ask questions to which I didn’t always have the answers. My catch phrase was, “I don’t know the answer to that, but let’s find out together!” Trying to teach them to use their curiosity to learn about things that really mattered to them helped me to be a better teacher and them to be better students. I continued this when I had my own children.
I find, though, as my children get older and have interests that do not necessarily interest me or are not my aptitudes, they know so much more about things about which I have very little knowledge. They get to teach me!
I love when I am the one learning from them, and they get to show off what they know and can be the expert.
When there are “life things” that we get wrong as parents, though, it is good to know when to say that you are wrong and that you are sorry.
One of these instances happened recently, and I had to tell one of my children that I was sorry. When I asked her to please forgive me, she looked astonished. It was humbling in a different way, but it drew us closer together.
It is okay to not know it all. I think our teenagers need to know that we are humble enough to admit it when we don’t know everything. And, teaching our children to be good forgivers and to ask for forgiveness when needed makes us all better Catholics.