5 Reasons You Might Need to Apologize to Your kids!

If you know me, and we’ve ever had a real conversation about my children, it’s probably come up that over the years, I’ve often had to apologize to them a lot, for a whole host of things.  I accepted early on my slim chance of ever attaining mother of any year, and decided instead to simply work with the realities of “me” as a mom–because honestly, it’s really all I have to give anyway.  I can admit my truths: I regularly excel as a parent, but,  there are some parts of me that aren’t so great.

I yell too much sometimes (I hate that), I’m not the best disciplinarian and I can be inconsistent much (definitely working toward fixing that); plus, my tune out game is ridiculously strong (with five kids I think it’s almost a requirement to cope)!  There have also been situations where I’ve wrongly accused (hey, I go by track records, what can I say), and I’m good for refereeing kids’ battles the wrong way (sometimes all of their versions make equal sense?).  Add to that the moments when I’ve promised and shouldn’t have, or just completely spoken out of turn, (Them: well you said I could do xyz!  Me: Okay, but wait, did you ask me that while I was asleep?”).

pexels-photo-936007I’ve found that I need to be on point at all times when dealing with my kids!  But, how can I do that when I’m human, and worse yet, I’m imperfect too?  The answer is, I can’t and I accept this about me; still, I need my children to accept this too.  That’s why I apologize; to get them to grasp the fact that although I have superpowers (just like all mamas do), my brilliance has limits, like how the Black Panther is at the core, just a man!

Now, make no mistakes– I’m not letting parents or myself, for that matter, off the hook: acknowledgement of  shortcomings is not an excuse for such, or a pass for parents not to improve.  Both the love for our children, and the pride we should take in ourselves, ought to propel us to be better dads and moms; to make sure they’re an improvement on our mold– because that’s just what makes logical sense.

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Even with all that in mind, however, we must remember that parenting is akin to the seasons: just like the earth is rejuvenated by spring, in the same way it’s quelled by the fall, the tides of how we raise our children changes too!  No person, place or thing is always good all the time, and as  parents, it’s important we know that our imperfections are still an integral part of our best!  Nevertheless, they need to be acknowledged, to bring about forgiveness, growth, and hopefully change!

Here are five reasons you may need to apologize to your kids!

  1. For Choices You made Before They Came! I know it’s what they think, that we came to this earth for the sole purpose of being and was never anything but a parent, but unfortunately our children are wrong.  We had lives and an existence before they were even a thought, nonetheless, some decisions “pre-them”,  inevitably come home to roost.  Our past is not their fault, and it may not necessarily be ours, regardless however, it can mean the world to a child for us to simply just acknowledge and ask forgiveness if it has affected them in a negative way!
  2. For Not Being the Parent You Should Have Been at Certain Times! Like I mentioned earlier, we all go through seasons in life, in the same vain, parents have periods where they get distracted and drop the ball.  Maybe you went through a divorce, had to care for an elderly parent, suffered from and unforeseen illness, or just took too long to mature—there are a myriad of reasons why parents go through periods of being lackluster parents.  Apologizing to your kids can do wonders, as opposed to pretending like those times didn’t exist, that your children didn’t notice, or that it didn’t affect them at all.  The odds are high that it did!  pexels-photo-1067520
  3. For Not Letting Go When You Should Have! I see mothers do this a lot with their boys, but it also happens with daughters too. We fall in love with our children, and rightly so, but sometimes neglect to remember that they weren’t created for us—to be our confidantes, our best friends, our spousal replacements, and around whom we revolve our entire world.  Our children come through us, but for the purpose of finding and embarking on their own path.  When parents don’t understand this, they have the tendency to cause their children undue pain, a slight for which is good cause to apologize.
  4. For Pushing Them Out Too Soon! Even good parents succumb to this, which usually presents in the form of making our children grow up too fast.  Latchkey kids, children who are forced to take on adult responsibilities, and young adults who are sent out into the world ill-equipped to handle the responsibility it brings, are all examples that fall under this category.  If you have put your child in any of these positions, inspite of what might have seemed like good reason, it was unfair– you should apologize for doing so now!pexels-photo-235615
  5. For all the Things You Can’t or Couldn’t possibly Know!How amazing it would be if all parents, upon the birth of their children (or better yet, before), were given a crystal ball, or an individualized instruction manual for each particular child; that way, we’d know exactly what each one needed and when, who they were/are destined to be, and what pitfalls related to them to avoid!  I delivered five babies and not once did I get either—my assumption, if you’re a parent reading this, is that you didn’t as well!  We do the best we can (when we can) for our children, and even then it’s sometimes not enough.  So, I’ve apologized to my children for the things that I’ve done and will do out of ignorance, because it’s a betrayal of knowledge and not of my heart!  My children always nod as if they understand; my earnest prayer is that someday they truly will!

Let us know in the comments what you’ve had to or feel you might need to apologize to your children for.   It’s millions of parents out there, so take heart that you aren’t alone!

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27 thoughts on “5 Reasons You Might Need to Apologize to Your kids!

  1. I apologize to my kids whenever I feel I failed them or wronged them. I feel like the more they grow the more they understand why and model their behavior to do the same, which is great!

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    1. Appreciate your feedback. I know firsthand that apologizing is hard and can even feel awkward– it’s like you’re being vulnerable in front of people who ONLY see you as strong. Still, I think they need to see that, to show them that we are all human and as humans, we have many sides! Thank you.

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  2. Great post!! Apologizing to our kids is so important because it truly does teach them that we own up to our mistakes too!! No parent is perfect.

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  3. I really enjoyed this post. As another commenter said, start with forgiving yourself which is the hardest part. I can quite easily apologize for little things (oh the yelling). It’s the big ones (my agoraphobia kept us home too much)…I have trouble with those.

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  4. Such a beautiful post! It’s so refreshing to see someone be so honest about raising kids and the hard parts behind it! Don’t beat yourself up for making mistakes because it seems to me like you are a really awesome mom. 🙂

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    1. Yes!!!! We do. We make our children apologize to us, to their siblings, to the neighborhood kids, to their teachers, but do they ever get the same courtesy? We most definitely should flip the switch sometimes, because children need to not only feel, but be given empathy. Its important!

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  5. This is a great post! I apologized often for my mistakes and I raised 4 children who seem to get that it’s not a small part of life!

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  6. There has been plenty of times I have found myself apologizing to my kids. When we make a mistake, it is important to own it and when we make a mistake regarding a child, it is no exception. It is so important to model conflict resolution. Thank you for your post, I agree.

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    1. Yes, if we can apologize to adults when we mess up or wrong them, why is it any different with a child– or our own children better yet. I just don’t think a lot of parents even consider this concept, but apologizing to our kids in certain situations can build bridges and mend fences!

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  7. These are excellent points and I apologize to my kids all the time! I know that I’m often wrong and make mistakes just like anyone else. I think that my children can value from learning that mommy is human too.

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    1. Absolutely! When they see us, the people they think of as having it all together, admitting our vulnerability and showing them that we make mistakes just like them, I think it allows them to give themselves a break for their shortcomings as well!

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    1. I think it’s because we know the high regard they have for us and it possibly hurts us to acknowledge when that view is diminished. I think it’s good though– I want my children to see me as human and only put me on a pedestal for how much I love them, not for being perfect and never making mistakes!

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  8. This is such a lovely post! I apologize to my ten month old when I feel I need to, even if she doesn’t fully understand yet. I hope to keep open lines of communication with her as she grow and I think apologizing as needed will help.

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