a·pol·o·gize – verb
1. To express regret for something that one has done wrong
As a parent of two little people, I aim to raise them to be able to face life as it really is. The good, the bad, the heartache, the excitement, the disappointment, the dreams, the love, the hard work and success part. The beautiful parts and the not so the beautiful parts… they will make mistakes along the way and others will too that will hurt them. I want to break the cycles of how I grew up and will raise them to be able to handle their emotions in the best and worst situations. I’m not saying happiness starts with forgiveness but I think it’s linked in pretty darn closely to it.
So I’ve learned the best way to teach my children how to apologize when needed is to not just apologize when needed but apologize to THEM when I’ve used the wrong tone of voice, ignored them, overreacted or yelled at them for an accident (even the accidents that “should have” been prevented). This can be a harder task then you’d think because it means admitting that I am not always right and some days facing my biggest fear- I’m not as good of a parent as I claim or want to be.
Life is busy, stressful, hectic, there’s about 50 different things going on in my mind a lot of the time…. bills, work, the new puppy, laundry, forms that need to be filled out, getting them dressed, fed, brushed teeth and not missing the bus in the morning, birthdays coming up, dishes, family events, working out, eating better, going to the park, DINNER!- CRAP, it’s 5pm and I haven’t even thought about what our plans are for dinner. Subway, anyone?
So becoming agitated, snippy, snappy, irritable, whatever you want to call it is pretty easy. It doesn’t make me a terrible parent though (which is actually something I need to remind myself of constantly). When I compose myself and have a little heart to heart with my daughter or son expressing the truth of that situation and apologizing it will teach them so much about life, love, respect and honesty.
It shows that when you care about someone you can let go of your ego, admit you were in the wrong and can ask for forgiveness. It sets a GREAT example for how they will treat others, as well. Like that quote above says, if I can condition them to forgive someone NOW they will walk around life with such a lessened load on their shoulders.
Imagine all the things you still haven’t forgiven someone for? That burden follows us everywhere, it drags us down. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean what they did was right and it sure as heck doesn’t mean it won’t happen again but I can teach them that whatever act has happened is NOT because of them and it’s OKAY to forgive someone.
Christian and I had a little accident with a chocolate milkshake in my car today. A chocolate milkshake that just happened to go everywhere but in his mouth while Lily (our puppy) was in the back with him. Bad idea on so many levels now thinking back on it but I wasn’t thinking that way while it was happening. I felt guilty and mad at myself for not handling the situation better. I apologized before nap time and this little 4 year old could have cared less – haha – but that’s not the point! One day he’ll understand saying AND meaning “I’m sorry” is something we do in this house and will hopefully carry over to when he is older.