Apologizing to and Asking Forgiveness from your children.
Parenting is hard. We try to do our best but so often we fail. Especially when we are not being intentional about our parenting.
One of my biggest areas of failure as a parent is losing my calm and yelling at my kids.
9 times out of 10 it is when we are trying to get out the door for school. Between them being goofy, or wanting to stay home with me that day, or the baby pooping in her diaper as we are trying to leave, and the social worker meeting I have to prepare for as soon as I return, this period of time is often the busiest and shows my weaknesses in my parenting.
I have implemented a before school system to help, but hey, I’m human and things don’t aways run smoothly. Insert “HURRY UP AND GET YOUR SHOES ON AND GET IN THE VAN!!!! (Yelling voice mama)
I have certainly improved in this area because I make an intentional effort to catch myself before it happens, because it is something I hate about myself but it is still something I hope to never do one day.
I see moms losing their cool all the time. Especially when they have 2 or 3 pre school aged kids. At one time in my foster parenting journey I was a mom to 4 under 4. I GET IT!! But that doesn’t mean it is ok.
Apologizing to my kids and asking forgiveness is something I do. When I am in the wrong I own up to it. Kids need to know we make mistakes and that we care to rectify the situation.
Yes, we are the parent and they are the child. They should be respectful and obedient to us as their elder and caregiver but before I get anymore into this I want you to understand something.
The way you act and function now as an adult, the story you tell yourself about who you are is completely related to your childhood. Our parents did not have the resources that we have today as parents. I believe we should take that as a gift. There are so many avenues of parenting help in our day in age. We are blessed with the chance to get it as right as we can. We see the research and we see the outcome of other parenting styles. I think us millennial moms can do better.
There are 6 main reasons I think apologizing and asking forgiveness from your children is important
- Apologizing and asking forgiveness encourages mutual respect
- Apologizing and asking forgiveness makes you a good role model
- Apologizing and asking forgiveness strengthens your bond with your child
- Apologizing and asking forgiveness is a teachable moment
- Apologizing and asking forgiveness teaches empathy to and shows empathy for your child
- Apologizing and asking forgiveness will soothe both you and your child
Let’s dive in a bit deeper.
Apologizing and asking forgiveness encourages mutual respect
Demanding respect without returning it teaches kids the wrong lesson. Kids are very quick to forgive, they don’t hold grudges like adults do. But if they make a poor decision for example hurt their sibling’s feelings and we are trying to train them to to apologize and ask forgiveness but we don’t do the same, we are showing them it’s really not that important. Lead in your actions not only your words.
APOLOGIZING AND ASKING FORGIVENESS makes you a good role model
If our kids see that we aren’t perfect (and oh will they ever witness that in the 18 years or more they are in our homes) and that we admit our mistakes and are remorseful it teaches them a very important life skill. It is inevitable for every human being that we are going to lose our cool and make mistakes based on our emotions of frustration, anger, sadness etc but being able to acknowledge that and say I’m sorry shows strength in our character. It pushes or pride and egos aside.
APOLOGIZING AND ASKING FORGIVENESS strengthens your bond with your child
When your kids see you willing to apologize for something that likely made them feel bad or hurt you show them the importance and value of your relationship to them. You show them that you care to “get it right” and in turn that builds trust. When our actions like yelling for example hurt our children they may get a feeling of fear and mistrust because it is not normally in your character to act that way. We do right by apologizing and asking forgiveness. and it shows them that we all make mistakes but that they can trust we will do the right thing. This strengthens the bond between you and your child. Next time it happens your child knows he or she can trust you to make it right.
APOLOGIZING AND ASKING FORGIVENESS is a teachable moment
We can teach our children that it’s ok to make mistakes but we must do the right thing to rectify the situation. We can use our time of apologizing and asking forgiveness to ask them if there is someone they need to apologize to, maybe a sibling or friend at school that they hurt? We can remind then in this moment that it’s ok to make mistakes but we have got to make it right.
APOLOGIZING AND ASKING FORGIVENESS teaches empathy to and shows empathy for your child
When your child sees you are willing to apologize and ask for forgiveness from them they will become more empathetic to you when you are having a hard moment/bad day. My daughter has said to me, “I know its hard when us kids don’t listen mom, I’m sorry” after me losing my cool on her. After apologizing enough times to her, she realizes the cause and effect when I make a mistake like yelling and is quick to become empathetic towards me.
It also shows empathy for your child in that you realize you have hurt their feelings and you are empathizing with that hurt and doing what is right and helpful to make it right.
APOLOGIZING AND ASKING FORGIVENESS will soothe both you and your child
Repairing any problem/hurt between you and your child soothes our nervous systems. The reason we over react is because our nervous systems are worked up in the first place. When we apologize and ask forgiveness we are building resiliency and building our capacity to work through difficult moments.
I hope you incorporate this positive parenting technique into your every day parenting. Your kids will be better off for it!