Apologizing is the hardest thing to do for some but for me, one who consistently keeps their foot in their mouth, I’m quick to make up for a mistake.
But apologizing to a kid is even harder. I mean they have feelings…I mean, boy, do they have feelings. Having a kid tell you you hurt their feelings at 2 is the worst, especially if you didn’t mean to.
“AppLe” and I had a slight fallout, the usual. I’d had a particularly unproductive day with extreme effort and it had me irritated. I came home and began cooking and AppLe incessantly kept asking for ice cream, I snapped, literally and yelled at him. Not the screaming profanities or vein popping snapped, enough to scare him to say “I didn’t do nothing, Mama.
He never calls me Mama.
My son has a very high emotional IQ. I remember at the age of nine months I was pregnant with my second son and my emotions were rollercoaster-ing and so were the tears. I walked into the room thinking I’m good and he immediately crawled over to me and sat in my lap and curled up almost like he was trying to get back inside. It was relief to have him comfort me without saying a word. He’s very concerned with other people’s feelings and how they are treated. He’s the gate keeper at school the teacher says. And he too is quick to say “sorry, sorry, sorry with a pat pat on the back.
I immediately apologized and tried to explain to a two year old what just happened. Being a toddler, the phase didn’t last long.
Mr. “This Too Shall Pass” wasn’t the least bothered after our hug.
Sincere apologies are important even for babies and toddlers. Think of all the times you’ve told him “You hit your brother/took a friends toy/dropped the heavy pliers on mommy’s toe/turned the lights on in car and we had to get a jump/ you get me now….
NOW SAY YOU’RE SORRY?
Apologies teach kids rights from wrongs, builds emotionally stable relationships and teaches accountability.
We don’t know how to apologize until we do it and practice it. It isn’t a weakness, it’s a tremendous strength to be able to humble yourself. Ego and pride can kill any relationship. Forgiveness isn’t automatically given so we have to ask for it through a sincere apology and follow up with actions. Not an apology from what they did wrong but from your accountability.
Do you apologize to kids? Are you great at apologizing?