teach your kids about being humble

It is Never Too Late to Eat Humble Pie: Always Do the Right Thing

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There was a recent story in the Huffington Post (it is worth reading) about a father who threw a temper tantrum in front of his kids, including some swearing and generally bad behavior. But once the dad reflected on his actions, and realized how his behavior affected his young son, he collected himself and he had the strength and courage to do the right thing. We are all human, and we all make mistakes. Everyone errs and few of us are lucky enough not to have the occasional adult temper tantrum, but too often we do not recognize our error or right the wrong the way that this father did.

Two Minutes Changed Everything for This Family

We all have those days, when it seems like nothing goes as planned and the unexpected happens. For one family two small minutes had an enormous impact, and allowed a father to teach his children a very valuable life lesson. Because of a delay, the flight that the family was on would cause this family to miss their scheduled connection to make it to the next flight on their journey home, and the difference in time was a mere two minutes.

Flight Attendant Tried to Help But Passengers Did Not Follow Her Instructions

One of the attendants on the flight overhead the father talking about the delay and possibly missing the connecting flight, and this flight attendant tried hard to help. She announced that all passengers should remain seated until the family left the plane, but when the plane landed everyone hurried off without a thought to the previous instructions. Instead of waiting, the passengers filled the aisles, and the father ended up getting off last with his two children. I won’t spend time discussing the behavior of those passengers who ignored the flight attendant’s instructions and were unwilling to wait a minute or two to let the family off first (since their behavior is not the point of this blog), but I would be remiss in at least wondering aloud why those other passengers could not wait. In spite of running to the next gate, the family missed the flight, and the father was enraged, frustrated, and irritated at the selfishness that the other passengers on his flight had displayed.

A Full Blown Temper Tantrum From a Grown Man is Not a Pretty Sight

We try to teach our children to control themselves and avoid acting out. But, as sometimes happens with (presumably) all of us, this father had reached his breaking point. When he tried to get the attention of another airline employee at the gate where the flight was missed, the agent first ignored him, then pointed out an automated counter where the family could change their flight as he hurried away. The father acted out in anger in front of his children, using curse words and throwing a full blown temper tantrum with his kids looking on.

You Can’t Undo Your Actions But You Can Make it Right

As the father was in full blown temper tantrum mode he happened to look down at his 6 year old son, and he realized that he was acting inappropriately and setting a very poor lesson for the kids. The father realized that he was setting a terrible example for his children. He realized that in the future when his son has a difficult or frustrating situation to deal with, his son would remember how his father reacted over a missed connection and his son would likely emulate this behavior instead of handling the situation the right way.

Flight Delay was Actually a Blessing in Disguise

Once the family followed the directions to the automated service counter the flight changes took all of 60 seconds to complete, and the father had time to take his kids for a meal, relax a little, and think about how he was going to fix the situation that he caused with his temper tantrum. Simply explaining that he was wrong to the kids was not sufficient; this father wanted to make an impression on them that they would remember- something that would stick with them for a lifetime.

A Chance at Redemption With a Simple Apology, and a Valuable Lesson

For many people admitting that they were wrong and apologizing is one the hardest things to do. But we have to remember for ourselves, and to teach our children, that it is always the right thing to do when you make a mistake. This father could have just let is pass, or at least talked to his kids to explain why he acted in an inappropriate manner. But this fatjer did much better than that. He swallowed his pride, ate a big piece of humble pie, and took his 6 year old son with him to apologize to the employee that he had treated so rudely and cursed at.

A Simple “I’m Sorry” Can Make It Right and Teach Kids What is Truly Important

The father sought out the employee that he has mistreated. The father took his 6 year old with him and went up to the agent and apologized for his earlier temper tantrum. “Sir, I don’t know if you recognize me, but about three hours ago, I did something inappropriate. I cursed at you because you didn’t help us find a new flight after we missed our connection, and that wasn’t right. I took my frustration out on you and set a poor example for my children. I want to apologize to you and ask your forgiveness.” Once the father had admitted that he was wrong for his poor behavior he turned to his son and stated “That, my son, is doing the right thing. Always do the right thing, no matter what.”

After the apology, the attendant introduced himself and explained to the father that he was helping another passenger with a medical need, and that was why he could not stop to help this father. What started as a horrible experience turned into one of the most important lessons that a parent can teach, how to swallow your pride, admit your mistakes, and apologize to those you have wronged.

Have you ever made a mistake like this father, and how did you handle it?

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