“Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.”
Parenting is a huge responsibility which involves a lot of consistency and perseverance to raise a happy child. There is no perfect parenting guide which will work for all. However, every parent wants to provide an environment for the child to grown up to be an empathetic, independent, honest and a confident individual. Children are like sponge – they are quick to observe and learn, than just being told what is right or wrong. Kids especially up to around age six, look up to parents as they spend most of their time with them. So, it is important that as parents we behave responsibly in front of children and be cautious of what we speak or do.
Despite our best efforts, there are times when we get frustrated or be over stressed in our daily lives. Amidst all the daily grind, if our kids happen to add a little more stress, it might push your limits and you may want to take out all your frustration on the children, however unintentional. Although not always their fault, sometimes children must bear the brunt of angry outbursts of parents. It will have a deep impact on their minds if we do not talk to them about it.
Apologizing is hard for anyone – it means that you accept your mistake and want to correct it. Many parents think that apologizing to their children will make them vulnerable and that kids will not respect them. But on the contrary, apologizing in the right way will in fact help to strengthen the bond between the children and parents.
So, whenever there is a mistake, sit with your children and talk to them. Whether it is an outburst, or you forgot your commitment / promises with the kids, it is completely okay to accept your mistakes in front of them.
Be clear about which actions of yours (like yelling or slamming doors etc) was inappropriate and explain them why. Your kids will understand that they are not allowed to do those actions either.
While talking to them, look into their eyes and say, “I am sorry” 🥺. Let them know that you respect the relationship and are not hesitant to accept your mistake. This will teach them that relationships are more important and admitting your fault, will not make you weak.
Show the kids that you understand their feelings of being scared or hurt. Empathize with them and tell them that your affection and love are unconditional.
When you accept your mistakes in front of your children and apologize, you are letting them know that when they need to be corrected, you will stand firm. If we conceal and refuse to apologise, they will also develop the same attitude and never accept their mistakes in life.
In the growing up years, making mistakes and learning from them will give the kids more confidence and courage to take risks. And as parents we need to lead by example, to build the values of forgiveness and be empathetic.