Most of the time my kids think mom is “always right.”
And most of the time, I am right. But not always.
So I humble myself and usually say something like, “I’m sorry. I was wrong.”
Although it’s not easy to admit when I am wrong -to my kids, my husband, my mom, my friends, etc..- I know that my kids will benefit from an apology.
I do this for three reasons:
1. I want my kids to feel good about themselves.
As parents, my husband and I try our best to raise our children into adults who will apply the “golden rule” in their lives every chance they get. I like to feel good about myself, so why wouldn’t I want the same for my kiddos.
When my husband and I are arguing over something small like –to-may-toe/to-mah-toe- and I am right.. I like to hear it. Because there is something about the phrase, “you were right,” that satisfies the soul. Therefore, when my kid and I are arguing over po-tay-toe/po-tah-toe, and they are right…it only makes sense to give them the same satisfaction.
But giving them the satisfaction of being right isn’t the only time I apologize to them.
I also apologize to my kids if my bad mood, or my actions, make them feel uncomfortable.
2. There is no better way to teach our children than to lead by example.
We all have moments where everyone around us is “walking on eggshells” because of something we said or did. And when we come to realize how ridiculous we are being, the shame and embarrassment brings most of us (unfortunately not all) to an apology.
When our kids realize that their parents, the most awesome people in their lives, are just as human as they are, they come to appreciate us more. Which leads to this I want to be like mom/dad mentality.
Therefore, they mimic our actions, our phrases, our stories, our traditions, and so much more.
Since they are taking mental notes, leading by example is the best way to teach our kids humility.
3. It teaches our kids empathy which creates an opportunity for forgiveness.
empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of another
I want my kids to have this ability. And we are all the same when it comes to making mistakes. It’s so important that our kids realize this.
Rather than teaching them to hold onto their hurt feelings by not apologizing when you are wrong, give them the opportunity to empathize with you. Teach them just how alike you really are.
Doing this allows them to forgive you and relieves them of any pent-up negative emotions that steal their joy. And nobody likes a thief. 😉