Last week, I had a short temper and I snapped at my daughter to get into bed. My little one started to cry and ran into her room. I immediately felt horrible!! I went into her room sat on the edge of her bed and said, "I am so sorry I raised my voice and hurt your feelings. Mommy is tired and hungry and I didn’t use my kind words. Next time, mommy will take a deep breath and take a moment. I am so sorry, honey, that I hurt your feelings."
She immediately hugged me and said, "It’s ok, mommy. I wasn’t listening. I am sorry, too."
We talked about how it made her feel, which is hard to hear that I scared her. I gave her cuddles and reassurance that I love her and moms make mistakes, too. Lastly, I asked how I could make it up. The following day, I picked her up from school and we had an ice cream date – just the two of us!
What I know is that every parent is going to make a mistake. The good news is we have an amazing "teaching moment" when we apologize. It’s important to recognize that you hurt their feelings and accept responsibility for what you did wrong. Explain what happened and share why. Give examples of what you can do differently so it won’t happen again. This shows your little one you are not perfect and you, too, make mistakes.
Saying I am sorry teaches:
- That everybody makes mistakes
- An apology is an act of responsibility
- When you say you are sorry, you feel better
As much as my daughter is learning and growing into an amazing person, mommy is growing and learning, too.