Most parents teach their children to apologize when they do something wrong, lie, or behave disrespectfully. That’s very good. Children should learn to apologize from an early age because it helps them take responsibility for their behavior while learning the keys to interacting assertively with others. However, adults also make mistakes, and many times we overlook asking children for forgiveness when we make a mistake.
Whether it is because you consider that by asking children for forgiveness you convey an image of weakness or because you do not want to accept that you can also be wrong, the truth is that we tend to apologize to children less than we should. These are some of the reasons why we should start apologizing to them more often.
5 reasons why we should apologize to children
Asking children for forgiveness is not a sign of weakness but on the contrary, it is an act of courage. When we ask for forgiveness we are acknowledging our mistake and assuming our responsibility, which requires a lot of courage and determination. Without a doubt, this is a great lesson for the little ones at home who are learning the rules of social behavior and beginning to develop their communication skills.
1. It teaches them that we all make mistakes
We all make mistakes and make mistakes, the sooner children learn this lesson, the better. In this way they will understand that mistakes are part of life and will be able to forgive more easily, both adults and themselves. This is the first step so that, later on, they are able to realize that mistakes, both their own and those of others, are a learning opportunity that allows them to improve and grow as people.
2. It is a good way to teach them to be humble
When you ask children for forgiveness, you are teaching them a great lesson in humility, one of the essential values that they should learn in life. Therefore, children will learn that all people are vulnerable and that no one is perfect, which places us all on the same level, from the apparently most “important” people to those who may have a lower social status. Likewise, you will be teaching them to recognize that we are just as valuable as everyone else, no more and no less.
3. Strengthens the relationship between father / mother and child
Acknowledging to children that you are not perfect will not make you weaker in their eyes, quite the contrary. Showing yourself vulnerable and imperfect is the best way to win the hearts and trust of your children, making them see that, although you strive to give your best, you are also wrong. As a result, children are likely to feel closer to you and develop enough confidence to tell you about their mistakes and mistakes.
4. It teaches them to take responsibility for mistakes
When you apologize to children for your mistakes , you are teaching them to take responsibility for their mistakes from an early age. Without a doubt, this is an excellent lesson to teach them to accept that in life we can often make mistakes and that, although the feeling is usually not pleasant, it is important to recognize our mistakes, especially when there are other people involved.
5. Improve communication with children
Recognizing that we have made a mistake is not easy, sometimes it is difficult to find the right words and it is very easy to get carried away by the embarrassment of the moment. However, when we admit to the children that we have made a mistake and apologize, we are promoting more open and sincere communication. They’ll probably end up feeling much more comfortable when it comes time to admit their mistakes to us, and be more willing to tell us more about them.
How to apologize to the little ones at home?
Apologizing is not easy, especially when it comes to children. However, there are some keys that can make this task easier for you and help you achieve forgiveness from the little ones at home.
1. Focus on what you have done wrong
When you apologize to children try to be as specific and concrete as possible. Instead of saying, “I’m sorry if I hurt you, it won’t happen again,” you can elaborate: “I’m sorry I hurt you when I yelled a while ago because you didn’t want to put your shoes on. I lost my nerve because I was in a hurry, can you forgive me? In this way, the little ones will be able to put themselves in your place and forgive you more easily.
2. Do not blame the children for your mistakes
By apologizing to children, avoid blaming or shaming them for your mistakes. Instead of telling them phrases like “If you listened to me at first I wouldn’t have to yell at you” you can say “I’m sorry I yelled at you, I lost my nerve, it won’t happen again”. Blaming children for your mistakes shows that you are not really sorry and do not take responsibility. And the children will notice.
3. Apologize sincerely
Children notice the sincerity in the words of adults and are able to distinguish between a sincere apology and a false one. Therefore, when you apologize to them, make sure that you are truly sorry and want to make amends for your behavior. At the end of the day, a sincere apology is better than a hundred false apologies.
4. Do not leave the apology for later
If you’ve made a mistake with the kids, don’t wait too long to apologize. The sooner you apologize for your mistake, the more likely children are to accept that apology. Plus, it’s a way of letting them know that you’re really sorry and sorry for behaving that way. If you can’t apologize to them right then, find a time of day to do it.
5. Give your word that it will not happen again
Many times, an apology alone is not enough and it needs to be accompanied by a promise that you will not make the same mistake again. This way you will not only be acknowledging your mistake, but you will be promising the children that you will do everything possible so that it does not happen again. Of course, you should only make those promises that you can keep. If you can’t keep what you promise, you better not give your word because the children could lose the trust they have placed in you.