As parents we always want our kids have the utmost respect for us. Our desire is God’s best for them, so we base our decisions on that….what’s best for them. Every discipline we administer, every look we give, every loving touch is hopefully getting them closer to the best life possible. But, there is one thing that I think we fail to do at times as parents.
Say “I’m sorry.”
I don’t mean to apologize for appropriate disciplinary actions, or apologize for being the mom. I’m talking about those days where it’s ‘not about them’. The days, or moments we have as parents where we just plain ole mess up! Yell out of anger, or discipline out of frustration.
I have had moments like these, and it’s real simple. It goes like this….(obviously you can modify this any way you see fit for your situation…age, etc. has to be considered, of course!)
“Mommy needs to apologize to you. I was very frustrated and angry when you did what you did. Your behavior was inappropriate, but my anger is not justified, and for that I am sorry. I am sorry I was ugly to you, and I yelled. I shouldn’t have acted that way. Will you forgive me?”
It really is not as hard as you think. It does not make you look weak, or silly, or show cause for a lack of respect. It also doesn’t mean we don’t administer the discipline. The discipline still stands, but we need to show our kids that we are not perfect and that we realize it, are willing to admit it, and change. We will never raise children who are willing to allow God to change them, or admit to a wrong if we are not the first to set the example.
I have had plenty of home-school days the past 6 years with my girls when I was just over it. In a bad mood, had no patience, however you want to paint the ugly picture. I have gotten frustrated over the littlest thing…but, and here’s the big BUT…I breathe, count to 5, and simply say…”Ok, I need to apologize. This anger is so not about you guys. I’m having a rough mom day, so just detach from it. It’s not about you. Forgive me?” Inevitably, my kids say, ‘Yeah, sure Mom…” and end up loving on me, and doing their best to help me to have a better day. COMMUNICATION!!! I really think it’s a lost art, but I am determined to bring it back in style.
I do not apologize for justified parental behavior, but I do apologize for inappropriate or extreme emotional decisions or outbursts. If you never experience these emotional outbursts, then when I grow up, I want to be just like you. If you are like the rest of us normal moms, take heed…Our kids are going to realize one day that we are not perfect. Let’s clue them in before they find out for themselves!