Ever tried apologizing to your child?? It works…
“I asked you to throw the wrapper in the dustbin and yet here it is lying on the floor, how hard it was to just open the cabinet and throw it directly in the dustbin?” You hear yourself yelling at your child when you suddenly remember it was you who had gone to throw it while on the phone and might have just slipped it out.
So, what next??
You owe an apology.. Wouldn’t you do it if it was not your kid and some adult for that matter?? Yes you would.. So why not apologize to the tiny little human?? Just because he or she is your kid, and you think you will have less respect in reciprocation if you apologize? But that is actually not the case. It is a relationship, and the most important thing in a relationship is to say I Love you and also I am sorry. Your relationship with your kid is like a bud which needs to be groomed to a flower, and sorry pays an important role to it.
So, what difference will it make if we apologize to our children?
1. They will know that there is nothing wrong in saying sorry and it doesn’t make anyone weak:
Apology is a way of saying that what you did was wrong and you will try your best not to do it again. It doesn’t make you weak or inferior to anyone just because you said sorry. It will just mean that you did something you should have not done and you are sorry about that.
2. They will know that most important is to value the relationship:
They will understand that saying a simple sorry will keep the relationship at a higher stand that the ego. They will understand that to keep their own self aside and just accept what they did is wrong is the best thing to make it work. It will not only help them further in the life about also help in the present to accept that the relationships are what is life about and not merely about self.
3. They will learn that anyone can be wrong, and hurt others feelings:
Anyone for that matter, old young, rich poor, big small, can be wrong at any point of time, and just avoiding to say sorry as you think you are superior to other might not be the right thing to do. So, everyone including their parents who are their role models can be wrong. So, this gives them a sense that until and unless you did it deliberately, you can apologize for the wrong things you did and it is totally okay.
4. They will understand that it makes the other person relaxed and happy:
After you scold your child for something he or she did not do, and say sorry once you realize that you were wrong, they will feel happy to hear that apology. In return, they will learn that is is a good thing to apologize as it makes a person happy and love the other person even more as they accepted their mistake.
5. They will know that it is not at all shameful to say sorry when you are wrong:
Accepting your mistake and simply saying sorry is when you will teach your child that is is not at all a disgrace to say sorry to your child. In fact it is a way of showing strength that anyone can be wrong and it is courageous to accept your own mistake.
The next thing is how and when should a parent actually apologize??
1. Apologies can be for small things to big things:
Your child has been asking you to read a book for her since say around 10 minutes, but you have been busy attending a call or may be just taking a shower, when you finally sit and read to her just say “Sorry, I delayed it when you were asking me to read, will read it right away.” This will surely put a smile on her face and the book you will be reading will be more fun to read. It was just a small thing, but it was valued by you, and so your child understood it, and did not mind.
The big thing can be yelling at your child unnecessarily, when you really just had a bad day or were too tired to may be deal with the tantrums of your child. When you sit in peace for 2 minutes, you will realize that you could have handled it much better, and they are just kids who are exploring the world around them. A sorry and a hug would be perfect here to make the bad and tiring day to be a good and a fun filled one.
2. When you say sorry, mean it:
Just saying sorry is not the criteria for being apologetic. Meaning that you really are sorry for what you did is the most important thing and that is what will make the difference.
Just saying sorry on your way out of the house, when you had to take your child for a dance practice will not help. Saying sorry and explaining before hand why you can not accompany her for the practice as you have some urgent work that has come up, will be the right thing to do. This will help your child understand that it was something you could not have skipped.
3. Don’t make any excuses while apologizing:
Telling them that you yelled at them just because they were throwing tantrums, or being extremely naughty or may be just because they were not taking a nap, will not be the right way to apologize. Tell them you are sorry anyway and you should not have yelled at them. Then later when everything is sorted out and its all calm, make them sit and try to explain that why what they did was not right, but don’t add that that was the reason for your yelling.
4. Tell them that you will work to set it right the next time:
Next time when there is a dance practice, or any other activity, make sure you are there for it an do not miss it by any chance. The apology for the previous time will be accepted by a open heart.
5. Make sure you do not repeat it the next time:
If we keep apologizing for something and still keep repeating it every other day, say the yelling, the apology will just be meaningless. So, it is better to just make a plan before hand as the same situation might again be repeated, and you will need to do better to gain trust from your child. The sooner is better.
It is after all not as difficult as it seems to be. If you are not use to say sorry to your child, it might just take once or may be twice to get use to it. We are humans and being parents doesn’t just make us perfect. We have flaws and accepting them and saying sorry when we know we are wrong would make a whole lot of difference to the lives of our children, the most important being that they will value the relationship, more that their own ego.