Why saying sorry to your kids is very important
You will agree with me that parental apology is very rare in a family. For example, how many times have you let down your children by not saying sorry this year alone? Most parents find it hard to say the two simple words, “I’m sorry” because they don’t realise the importance of apologising to their children.
Some parents don’t even believe that they need to apologise to their children. This is because it is not part of our culture as adults to apologise to our children even if it is obvious we are at fault. However, if you are looking to cement the relationship between you and your children, then you need to start admitting your wrongs to your children. As parents, we should always strive to feel free with our children when apologizing to them the same way we are always free when conversing with our kids about various issues that affect their lives.
Here are the benefits of apologising to your kids:
1. It is nurturing
As a parent, you will have several things in your mind, from looking after your children, working to pay the bills and keeping your house in order. Sometimes when the stress piles up, you may find yourself shouting at your child because of petty things. However, you can still let your child know that you care about him or her by apologising for shouting at them once your anger cools down.
2. By apologising, you serve as a good example to your kids
Modelling the behaviour you want to see from your kids is one the best ways to teach your kids. If your children see you apologising, it will be easy for them to do the same whenever they do something wrong because they know that saying sorry is not a sign of weakness.
3. Apologising to your children shows that you respect them
Despite your role as a parent, your children are still fellow human beings who deserve to be respected the same way other people are respected. By saying sorry, you and your kids will learn that even children warrant an apology as much as any other person. After all, after messing up, the next big thing to do is owning up your mistakes and saying sorry.
4. Saying sorry promotes mutual respect
It’s difficult to demand respect without giving it first. When you offer apologies to your children, you extend the respect to your children, and they are likely to respect you back. Therefore, when your children make mistakes, they will say “I’m sorry” too.
5. Apologizing makes you feel better
When you offer an apology to your child after you have wronged them, you open the doors for reconciliation. Once you and your little one reconcile, you will instantly feel better. You should therefore not be ashamed to offer apologies to your kids when you need to. Your little ones will also learn from you the need to take responsibility for their actions whenever they do something wrong.
Some parents may be willing to apologise to their kids only that they may find it a little embarrassing, or that they may not know where to start from.
Here are the 5 steps for apologising to your child:
1. Accept your feelings and take responsibility for them
As a parent, it is okay to be frustrated and upset sometimes. However, how you respond to your feelings really matters. You should therefore not react in a way that you would not want your kid to emulate.
2. Connect your feelings to the action
While offering your apologies, explain to your kids why you reacted the way that you did. Avoid using this chance to place blame on your kids. (“I’m sorry I yelled at you, but if you hadn’t broken the vase, I wouldn’t have gotten angry.”
3. Apologise for your actions
Point out to your child which of your actions you are sorry for and why. This will enable your kids to learn that they can’t act that way either.
4. Recognise how your child feels
Show your child that you understand they were scared or hurt by what you did. You should also ensure that you show your child that your affection is not based on your children meeting your expectations and that you will always love them no matter what they did.
5. Show your child how you plan to avoid this situation in the future
By showing your kid what you aim to do to keep from making the same mistakes that you made, you will be teaching them how to learn from their mistakes and improve themselves.
Apologies are very important, even with babies and toddlers. When offering your apologies to your child, clearly state what you did wrong in simple terms that your child can understand. Remember that a real apology has no excuses.
For example, a true apology should be like, “I’m sorry I yelled at you and I shouldn’t” instead of “I’m sorry for yelling at you, but you broke my expensive Chinese vase.”
About the author
Find out more about Kristi Cathey at her site, Intelligent Mother.