Have you ever been offered a meaningful apology? Does it make you feel valued? Does it heal?
Sometimes, as parents, we just get things wrong. It’s not that we mean to! Time is short, there's so much to do and then on top of that they go and tip over a cup of juice, or snap at a sibling or make you late and we just respond a bit too curtly. Or have you had one of those days when you've had a tough situation or you've had some bad news and your mind is distracted. You're emotional capacity has been drained and you've run out of patience.
It’s in moments like this that we can be justified in correcting their behaviour, but perhaps not in the particular way we do it. If we want our children to learn humility we need to model it. Modelling the humble apology is a fabulous way of showing them that going wrong isn’t a big deal. It just requires a bit of cleaning up.
When our oldest was about four I attempted the humble apology…. “I’m sorry but….” I began.
He quickly retorted that a ‘sorry butt’ was a ‘sore bottom.’ That was me told, but he was right. In the words of Benjamin Franklin “Never ruin an apology with an excuse.”
If you want to have a home where
. it's okay to go wrong,
. perfection isn't the bar
. a home where "We say sorry."
.........it starts with us!
Parenting isn’t a big thing, it’s a million little things. Each sentence we say to our child has the power to connect or disconnect them from us by one milimetre, emotionally. Most words aren’t damaging in themselves, but they can be a missed opportunity to sow into their hearts.....
.........to build bridges.