You had a late night working (or partying) and the morning thereafter you snooze your alarm for 10 minutes only to wake up one hour late. Everything is a mess and you are rushing your way to get breakfast done, get kids ready, get yourself ready. Amidst this chaos, your toddler asks for the pancakes you promised for breakfast.
You yell and snap at her and force feed the cereal and just get going. Overwhelmed with guilt the entire day, what is it that you do the first thing when you meet her after work?
Do you pretend nothing happened ?
Or do you get her a gift on your way back to make up for it ?
Or do you sit down with her, apologise for the morning and give a rational, honest, logical reason for why it happened!
Many parents get shocked and some get angry when they are advised to apologise to their child. They think they are losing power and respect. On the contrary, I would like to mention the two important life lessons you give to your child when you apologise.
Parents are the role models
Parents are their child’s role models. They are always watching us and always learning from us! The good and the bad. It’s on us.
You must have heard this before, “your child will follow your example, not your advise”
So when you apologise to your child, you are teaching them that we say sorry when we are wrong. You are teaching them to swallow their pride for the sake of the person you love. Also that there is no shame in saying sorry!
You are ensuring that your child will grow up to be an empathetic, emotionally stable adult.
What happens when we teach our children to forgive. We prepare them for their future through this very important life tool.
Forgiveness is a super power. By giving your child this golden lesson you make their childhood and adolescence easier. Holding on to anger and resentment gives birth to depression and anxiety. And we are already living in a world where cases of mental health are on the rise!
So be it your toddler or your teenager, feel no shame in saying sorry.
How to say sorry to your child
It is very simple. Be honest and very logical. Tell them exactly what made you do or say the thing that hurt them. By doing this you teach them to be logical human beings who are honest in their relations.
There is no need to pamper them or go out of your way buying gifts or listening to their unreasonable demand in return. We as parents have to remember Rule number 1, that is not to embed any negative approach in their subconscious minds.
Just a matter of fact conversation is enough to console your child.
You have to ensure your child that you are a responsible parent who values their relationships. You are teaching them to give up pride for the sake of the relationship and to value other person’s self respect. You are also ensuring that you are raising a healthy and happy child!
When not to say sorry!
It is also very important to know when you are not supposed to say sorry.
For example, you are not supposed to apologise for not being able to provide them with something that you don’t afford.
You are not supposed to say sorry when you move into a new house, when your child wasn’t happy about leaving their friends and the neighbourhood!
You are not supposed to say sorry if you are getting divorced.
These are big life decisions and your children cannot blame you for taking these decisions. If you say sorry you are basically putting yourself on the wrong side and they will blame you for things that are beyond your control.
Choose your words wisely
Here are the words you should use while apologising to your child. You have to make sure to express that you are sorry but also that you are not to be taken for granted.
Parenting is not easy and especially with every day pressures it can sometimes take the sanity out of your system.
Just keep reminding yourself that you are responsible for the well being of your child. You are the sculptor and it is how you mould them, they will be!
Wish you luck,
Remember the golden word!