Have you ever had one of those days? You know, the days where your kids won’t stop asking you for things. The days when you try to hide anywhere where you can lock the door to have a moment of peace. You may be in your bathroom just trying to do your business with someone knocking at the door. Maybe you’re trying to sneak a snack in your pantry closet with someone in hot pursuit wanting to know what you are doing. Yes, I’m speaking from experience.
What about the days when you are on edge and when your prescious little one asks you for something one too many times? When that happens, how do you handle it? Well, I’ll admit, there are definitely times when I lose my patience. Every mom knows that it’s unavoidable. At one point, you will snap at your children or make other cringe worthy mistake which brings me to the original question, why should we say sorry to our kids?
We are all human beings
This is common sense, but there are many parents out there who don’t make a point of apologizing to their children when they make a mistake. They feel that they are the parent, they are in charge and children should just comply. Everyone makes mistakes, so I’m not sure what is behind this thinking. Maybe it’s fear of losing some of that power/control but I believe that when you make a mistake and learn from it, you have more knowledge and power than when you started.
Also, as human beings, we all want to be treated with respect and even though our children are little, they are beings with needs, wants and feelings who are taking everything in and learning how our world works. Don’t we want that world to have as much kindness and fairness as possible?
It is good role modeling
Much of what our children learn is from what they see us doing. As their parents, we obviously have a huge influence in the way they think and feel about themselves and others. How can we expect them to be able to accept responsibility for their mistakes and actions if we don’t show them?
This past weekend has been extremely rough at my house. There has been lack of sleep, extreme clinginess and everything goes in one ear and out the other. I hate to say it, but my patience has gone completely out the window. After hours of hearing mommy, mommy, mommy, play with me now, make this for me now, turn on the tv now, I want this, I want that, I snapped. I was exhausted from trying to do small things like putting dishes away, make dinner, getting dressed etc and being constantly ￼ interrupted. This was in between hours of play time, so Rosebud was getting plenty of attention as I have been trying to limit the time I spend working. When she came in the kitchen while I was making dinner demanding chocolate milk, I lost it. I yelled at her to stop and leave me alone. I just wanted a moment of peace. I told her to just go watch tv and to stop bothering me.
About five minutes later, she came back and asked for a hug. Of course, I gave her a hug. In that five minutes, I felt horrible about yelling at her. Even though I didn’t say anything crazy, she only had a small request and I handled it poorly, so I apologized. I told her that I was sorry for yelling at her and that it wasn’t a nice thing to do. I explained that when she is constantly asking for something while I’m busy it is really frustrating. I told her that I love playing with her, but sometimes I need to do other things that are important as well. In turn, she said she was sorry and we agreed we were still friends. It’s a little ritual we have.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first parenting mistake I’ve made and it won’t be the last. It’s also not the first time I’ve ￼ apologized to Rosebud. Even if I don’t do it right away, I may say something when we’re having snuggle time before bed. Now, she does the same thing. If she thinks about something and feels bad for something she’s done, she tells me.
For example, we have a strawberry plant and last year, she ate the strawberries as soon as they popped up. She didn’t even wait until they were red, so we kept telling her to wait and let them grow, so that they are edible. Rosebud has an amazing memory, so during our quiet time yesterday, she told me she was sorry for eating all the strawberries last year and that she would let them grow big this year. This is a funny story, but she does this with serious issues as well. She’ll ￼ apologize for hitting, breaking toys, not cleaning up etc. It leads to some really thoughtful and wonderful discussions.
This goes to show that even on crappy days when we feel like the worst moms ever, we are actually not. Yes, we make mistakes, but it’s how we handle them that really matters. When our children grow up, will they remember how we yelled at them about chocolate milk or will they remember that we snuggled with them before bed. Will they remember when you hid in the bathroom to get away from them or will they remember what you taught them about caring about the feelings of others? They will remember that we valued them as human beings. That we cared for them and loved them even when it was hard. Even when we are grumpy, make mistakes or feel like we haven’t done anything right, our kids forgive us and love us unconditionally. That’s what makes this mom thing all worth it.
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