Last week I tried potty-training my 2.5 year old son.
Some of you are already snickering because you know all the drama that goes into that one sentence. My daughter was potty trained in 2 days at the age of 24 months. My son spent an entire week in Buzz Lightyear underwear and we did not see one peepee-in-the-potty.
By day 5 I was reaching my limit.
I had cleaned potty off the floor too many times to count, I had changed my son’s clothes so often that the only thing he had to wear was mismatched too little pajamas and I hadn’t left the house in days.
The final straw was when my daughter began to offer her professional potty training experience in the middle of me wiping up potty, cooking dinner, and changing a soaking wet little boy.
I turned around and yelled at her. Harshly. Rudely.
I knew I was wrong.
I knew I was lashing out of my aggravation. But I argued in my head, “She should know better! She knew I was doing so many things at once. She knows to be quiet!” Still, my heart was heavy inside me.
After dinner I scooted my chair next to hers and said, “I’m sorry I yelled at you. I was aggravated about potty training and didn’t use self control. Will you forgive me?”
She started crying.
And I knew I had wounded her. My yelling had been wrong and she felt it.
But what happened next? Did she cross her arms and hold it against me?
No, she got out of her chair and gave me a hug. My words healed a wound I had made only minutes before.
Apologizing to my kids is something new for me. I knew there were times when I had been wrong, but I assumed because I was the parent, there was no need to tell my kid, “Hey! I’m a failure!”.
I was wrong.
Apologizing heals hearts and builds our family together. The more I apologize, the more I feel a real understanding, an authentic relationship developing between my kids and me.
And I’m setting the standard and being an example of a contrite and humble heart. The next time my daughter lashes out or hurts someone’s feelings I pray she remembers her mama reaching out with a repentant heart to apologize.
Apology is a lovely perfume; it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift.
~Margaret Lee Runbeck
Do you need to apologize to your children today?
|Amanda is a stay-at-home mom of two who blogs at OhAmanda.com and Impress Your Kids. In her former life, Amanda was a Children’s Pastor — overseeing, organizing and developing ministry for kids in nursery through middle school, but now that she is a mom, her “skills” are used up on her kids!|