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Do you apologize to your children when you’re wrong?

Do you apologize to your children when you’re wrong?

Here’s your opportunity to learn more about the parenting styles of each Maturing Mama. No Mama is exactly the same in her parenting skills. This is our opportunity to highlight our differences in parenting in a means to help you find a method that works for you.

Today’s Question:

Do you apologize to your children when you’re wrong?

Because of my upbringing in a developing nation, I feel that I’ve been raised by very tough and ruthless adults. The teachers at school were especially horrible. They made fun of us kids with no shame, and were quick to use physical punishment with no restraint.

Even when my own mother (who was also a teacher), spoke to them about their inappropriate behavior as teachers, they never expressed any remorse or apologized for the bullying they did. I recall teachers making up excuses for resorting to physical and emotional abuse toward students.

Now, as an adult myself, I see these teachers as weak and failures. It’s for this reason that I find no shame in apologizing to my kids when I am wrong in my judgement or punishment. My mom herself has apologized to my sisters and I when having been too quick to punish us, or unfair in punishing us. It’s those moments that build up my confidence and make me feel valued.  

I’ve had times I accidentally accused my kids of having done things they didn’t actually do. Yes, it is hard and awkward going back to say sorry. But it’s worth it. It’s a reminder that those in authority can make mistakes too. I hope it will help them to feel brave enough to apologize when they make mistakes, especially as adults.

I know adults older than me that don’t apologize. Or apologize and say, “but…” afterwards as though they still had a right to hurt someone. I don’t want the world to keep going in that direction where people feel they have a responsibility (especially when in authority), to excuse their own mistakes or poor decisions.

Growth comes through admitting we are wrong when we are. I think that if everyone took that to heart, this world would only get better. 


Brittny

Yes absolutely! I believe that children learn best by watching us as parents. They are little mirrors. I think it’s also important that a child hears apologies too. They need to know that adults make mistakes too and that we apologize when we are wrong. For my kids, I want them to also know how an apology feels when they are wronged. I want them to feel how it makes them feel better, loved, validated and important.

I know so many adults that rarely apologize, and I get it. It’s uncomfortable. But it always feels better after you’ve done it. I want to normalize apologizing in my house, so that conflict can be resolved quickly and in a loving way. It’s so rewarding when I see my 2 year old apologize to my 5 year old, it melts my heart to see their compassion.


Sharon

I don’t have any hesitation in answering yes to this question. I feel like it would be an unfair expectation on my children if I didn’t do it myself; especially when they discover that I was wrong! Not only that, as my children grow, I want them to always know that I am their biggest cheerleader and that they can look up to me as a positive role model. I aim to teach them good values, just as my Mum taught me. Two of those are honesty and having the courage to own up to your actions/wrongdoings.

I would like my children to feel comfortable approaching me to talk about anything; including if they feel they have done the wrong thing, and I always want them to feel comfortable apologizing when needed. I want them to know that actions have consequences that will hopefully teach them whatever lesson is needed. I’m sure they would question why they need to learn if I try and say that I am always right. I also want them to know that regardless of anything, my love for them never changes.

In order for me to be able to instill these values, I feel like it is absolutely right and necessary to apologize to them when I’m in the wrong. It also presents a great opportunity to talk through situations with my children (what happened, why, and what’s next), which helps them to broaden their understanding of the world around them.


Kelly

I am a massive believer in apologizing to my children when I am in the wrong. We expect our children to apologize for their behavior if it doesn’t fit into what we think is acceptable, so why should we not hold ourselves accountable too?

These kids have the same emotions as us adults and at the end of the day, sometimes they get the better of us. If my daughter back chats to me or raises her voice, I tend to give her a couple of minutes to cool down and then we talk about our feelings and why she reacted that way. Afterward, she seems to understand and then apologizes to me. I don’t feel that it’s right to expect my kids to act a certain way if they don’t see me doing the same.


Alissa

I was taught from a very early age that apologizing was a way of putting the other persons feelings ahead of your own and letting go of your selfishness and pride.

Just this past week, I said something to my oldest out of fear, she’s growing so fast and new territory scares me. It was humbling to sit on her floor with her and tell her how scared I was. We tearfully hugged it out because, let’s face it moms cry about everything, but she needed that. She needed my apology and my honesty.

Yes, I absolutely believe we need to apologize to our children. They need to see that we aren’t perfect, that we mess up as parents too! THEN we need to make amends for what we’ve done. Acknowledging that wrong to them is huge for their self confidence, showing them they matter. For sure it’s tough but I love showing my kids my emotions because it shows them it’s OK to have them and to feel them too.

See Also
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Jadine

Apologizing to your kids was a taboo when I was growing up. In the Caribbean, where I am from, you would never hear a parent apologize to their child. Even when they knew they were wrong, they would find a way to make the child feel they were deserving of whatever reproof they had gotten. 

I remember the feeling of being backed into a corner when I knew I was right but was wrongly accused. I had two options, cry in distress or fight back. Crying is what I ended up doing most of the time because fighting back would earn even more reproof. 

“I will apologize to my children when I am wrong” was my resolution. I have tried to stick to this resolve but it has not always been easy. I mean, who wants to admit they’re wrong, especially to children? I have found though, that when I own up to my mistakes and apologize, my children have greater respect for me. They see me as a human being and not the ‘super-mom’ I try to be. Apologizing has helped me to grow closer to my children instead of alienating them. 

I am a teacher, and I practice this with my students as well. The results are the same. I earn their respect and they cooperate better. 

It takes a real humble heart to admit they are wrong. I want to leave a legacy of humility by demonstrating that it is okay to admit when you are wrong. 


Now we’d love to hear from you…

Let us know in the comments below, do you apologize to your children when you’re wrong?

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