apologizing to your child
From Rebecca Parlakian via PBS...
What is a True Apology?
I think apologies are important. But not the kind of apologies that we, as parents, are often tempted to use. The “I’m sorry…but” apologies: “I’m sorry, but it’s time for nap” or “I’m sorry that you threw the train at Thomas, now you have to take a break.” These apologies are not real. They are limit softeners–our parental code for, “Something really crappy is coming up now…I hope you don’t freak out.”
True apologies are important, even with babies and toddlers. Think of all the times that toddlers hear adults tell them, “You hit your brother/took your friend’s stuffed animal/dropped Mommy’s wedding ring down the drain (yes, this happened). NOW SAY YOU’RE SORRY.” How do we know how to say we’re sorry? How do we know how to forgive? We learn by experiencing it.
True apologies help adults build an authentic relationship with their children—one in which both people will sometimes make mistakes. Repairing mistakes (apologizing) can and often does take a relationship to a new level.
What Do True Apologies Teach Young Children
True apologies between adults and children do three important things: First, they show children how to recognize the difference between right and wrong (this is called a conscience, and comes in handy.)
Second, true apologies help adults build an authentic relationship with their children—one in which both people will sometimes make mistakes. Repairing mistakes (apologizing) can and often does take a relationship to a new level.
Finally, offering a true apology teaches children—even toddlers—how to take responsibility for their actions and how to forgive. There is power, love, and generosity in forgiveness. It is a big deal.
Read the full article here.