There has likely been a time where you have done or said something to your child that you regret. Whether you’ve said something cringeworthy, or reacted harshly in the moment, we all make mistakes, no matter how responsive or gentle we aim to be in our parenting.
Today is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, the day on which we atone for our sins of the past year and ask for forgiveness from those we may have wronged. It’s a complicated concept to explain to little kids, and when I thought about how to broach the subject with mine, it got me thinking.
It was not a common occurrence in my childhood home that the adults apologized to the children. In fact, I remember being told many times that I had something to apologize for, regardless of whether I felt, or even understood, that I had done something wrong. It’s probably why apologizing doesn’t come naturally to me, and why doing so often pushes me outside my comfort zone. I’m sure I’m not alone in this!
But what can we teach our kids by being the bigger person, and apologizing for our mistakes?
❤️ We teach our kids that everyone makes errors in judgement, and that no one is perfect
💛 We teach them the importance of taking responsibility for one’s actions
💙 We show them how to learn from mistakes and improve upon them in the future
So if you’ve done something to wrong your child, the best thing you can do is own it. If you lose your cool when they are having a tantrum, explain afterwards that your reaction was unintended and that you’ll work to do better. If your knee jerk reaction is a punishment that doesn’t match your intended parenting style, walk it back and don’t be afraid to show that you don’t have to stick to your guns just for the sake of it.
Admitting our mistakes doesn’t show weakness as the caretaker in the relationship with our children. It shows strength in humility and teaches our children a valuable life lesson. 💕