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Right Way and Occasion to Apologize To Your Child

The parents usually want their child to apologize, for his/her wrong actions, to the friends or other siblings. But, does this insistence really work when you avoid apologizing to your child when you do something wrong?

Most of the parents often answer this question with a justification that apologizing will make them less respected among the child. But think about it; don’t you get more respectful to the people who don’t hesitate to own their mistakes and apologize for those mistakes? You surely do it. And your child, being a human being, is naturally prone to doing the same when you own your mistakes in front of him/her.

However, it is the sad truth that most of us hesitate in apologizing to the child not just because admitting mistakes is a hard thing, but also because of a mindset that apologizing could bring shame on us.

The common perceptions that most of the parents regarding apologizing are as under:

  • When we apologize, it makes us look bad; and children would, thus, tend to think that we are bad.
  • Let the relationship get damaged but it’s unbearable to have a shame which comes after apologizing.
  • Apologizing would make us lose the status.
  • As a child, I was always forced to say sorry to my sibling; and the feeling at that time wasn’t the ideal one.

Nevertheless, you can think of apologizing as something that would teach your children a good lesson instead. For instance:

  • Everyone makes mistakes, and the only way one can do better is to own the mistakes and try not to do those in the future.
  • Our actions can hurt the others. And if we take responsibility of those actions by apologizing, that would help in making amends.
  • By apologizing, you let the other person feel good about you.
  • There is nothing wrong in taking time to get ready to own the mistake. But, eventually, apologizing for the mistake is something we need to do. This is the only way to repair the relationship and connection.

While you think that apologizing to the child is not that big deal and that you should be doing it more often, there are a few things you will need to keep in mind in order to ensure you are taking into the account the child’s perspective.

Make it easy for the small things

Suddenly, you stepped into the area your child was playing in and something got changed in a way your child wouldn’t want, you can add word ‘oops’ followed by an apology ‘sorry I interrupted you’. That will help your child to develop respect for other people.

What if the child thinks about something as a big deal?

The best way is to acknowledge the mistake. For instance, you forgot to bring the notebook you promised to your child. Now you can say it in a way that your child would get your point.

Give a bit of explanation

Another way of apologizing is to explain why something happened. Be honest and tell the truth. That will encourage your child to follow your character.

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