It is really important to remember that our children are just children. It is really easy to forget that the learning curve between children and adults is very different. The way we communicate as adults is a lot different than how children choose to communicate. It is easy for us to get riled up and worked up and to react harshly or in an adult tone when it comes to our children. Mistakes happen. By saying sorry you are teaching them the example of apology and the importance behind it.
We need to get in the habit of apologizing for our tones, our attitudes even if we are in fact the parent we still need to remember that we are showing them mutual respect by simply saying “Hey I am really sorry for saying this, acting this way, raising my voice”. So how do we say we are sorry without making it sound like we are just “SAYING IT”. It is easy to just say it and not mean it and our children will recognize that pattern.
I do NOT like going to bed knowing that someone is upset with me, especially my family. Sometimes we lose our cool. We have bad days. Then during the night we toss and turn and think “I could have done better, tomorrow I will be better”. Remember we are only human. We can only do what we can and sometimes things happen HOWEVER if you lose your cool or snap or react, act on it. Own it.
1. Say it right away. Sometimes I will find my tone to be louder than normal because the baby is asleep and they will fight upstairs and I snap when she wakes up. I try to get on saying I am sorry right away. “Hey guys I am really sorry the baby didn’t sleep well and you didn’t do anything wrong for me to raise my voice and snap at you” Even though they were fighting they were just being kids and I let my attitude and tone get ahead of me.
2. Recognize your child’s feelings. It doesn’t matter if they are toddlers or adults it is important to recognize their feelings and remember how they feel is valid.
3. Follow up with action. Even if our children accept our apologies we have to remember that they need to see a constant positive attitude and behavior to follow. I ALWAYS tell my son “sorry only goes so far before it has no more meaning” It is the SAME for us. If you say you are sorry. Mean it. Keep your word and do better in the future.
4. Use positive behavior as an adult with other adults. This is so important. Not only are we setting a great example for our children by owning up to our mistakes and taking credit for our attitudes and actions we are sharing that with them. We need to USE that positive behavior in other relationships with other people in our lives. Saying you are sorry and actually keeping your word to change or stay positive can go a long way.
5. When you apologize to someone you are reminding them that they are a valuable person. That their feelings and love are valuable and important. That is great in EVERY relationship. Clearing the air and saying you are sorry will also strengthen your bond and relationship and that is so important to a child.
6. Do your best. We all make mistakes and we all lose our cool. Losing your cool doesn’t make you a bad parent. HOWEVER, losing your cool and then acting on it takes you a few steps forward in a positive way as a parent.
I think sometimes we feel that if we apologize to our children they may not respect us as much. That is not the case. We are TEACHING our children love and respect by saying we are sorry and making things right. Sometimes I say “can we start over. Can we have a fresh start” I know it sounds silly but sometimes the morning will just be chaos, everyone is fighting and things are a hot mess but sometimes I will say you know what. Let’s start the day over. Fresh start fresh attitudes. When I remember to be positive I use this behavior in other relationships and friendships. Again, it doesn’t matter if your child is young or older they have feelings and they will forever be valid.
So you are having an off day. A bad day. Own up to it. Say you are sorry. Hug it out and move forward.
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