Parents are not perfect, we make mistakes and make wrong decisions. It is normal and that is not why you should feel bad or look the other way when this happens. Children need you to be their best example and guide in life, they will learn from you. Asking for forgiveness or saying ‘I’m sorry’ is very important to teach children the importance of humility, but above all, to teach that adults are also responsible for our actions and behavior.
The importance of apologizing to children
They are simple words and have a great emotional impact on children, however, it seems that apologizing or accepting the mistake is not something that parents are used to doing when necessary. Many parents don’t realize the importance of apologizing to their children. Also, many of them think that they do not need to apologize for their actions or behaviors because they are the parents. The Japanese method against laziness in children.
For many, it is not part of the culture for adults to admit that they have done something wrong in front of children, even when it is obvious that they are at fault. In reality, when a father or mother apologizes to a child, what it does is further consolidate the relationship between them and provides the little one (and not so little ones) with a comforting sense of security and well-being.
When parents make mistakes and apologize to their children (for example, when they yell, when they misbehave, when they say something that is not true, when they behave inappropriately, etc.) they will be instilling a positive value system and also demonstrating your children that people are not perfect and that nothing happens for it. We all make mistakes, what matters is recognizing it, learning from it and that next time, we can be an improved version of ourselves.
Parents are role models and when they apologize or apologize, they are showing that steps must be taken to accept responsibility after making a mistake, and this is much more important than the mistake itself. Children must be taught that the important thing is not the error made, but the way in which that error is handled.
The benefits of apologizing to children
We are not beings superior to children, rather the opposite… Therefore, it is necessary to be aware of the benefits of asking for forgiveness whenever necessary. It is important to validate the feelings of the children, to say exactly why we are apologizing (concretizing the behavior or action) and also, it is a priority to be totally sincere.
The ability for parents to recognize mistakes and accept responsibility for their actions will make children do the same. For this and for the following, this action is very important:
- Self-acceptance is encouraged. We accept how we are including our limitations. When parents apologize they send the message that they are imperfect…and that’s okay.
- It shows that being wrong is not being weak. Children need to learn to apologize through example, and to accept failure as a sign of strength and courage.
- Avoid blame for making a mistake. Apologizing to a child teaches him that living with a lie is worse than admitting the mistake.
- Children are better prepared for life, they know that adults can be responsible and loving and that they still make mistakes.
- Increase opportunities for learning and problem solving.
- Mistakes are inevitable, children will learn that there are things that cannot be learned if they make mistakes.
- Taking risks can mean making mistakes.
- Increases self-esteem. When parents admit their failures, they are showing their children that they feel confident enough to face the consequences of their actions. This will create a good model of healthy self-esteem.