Whining? Losing patience? Yelling? Throwing a tantrum? Throwing toys? Just being downright mean?
Yes, my kids have done that. Even worse? I’ve done that too. I’m not proud if it. I pray for patience some days more than others. Being a mom can be very difficult.
So what can I do after I mess up? Apologize.
Some people think that apologizing to your children is showing them weakness and a lack of authority. The fact is, when you lose it, you’ve just modeled disrespect and a lack of control. Admitting that you were wrong about something to your child shows them that everyone makes mistakes, but that it is also important and appropriate to admit your mistakes.
I often see parents telling their children to apologize for something they’ve done. I don’t know how effective it is to make your child repeat the phrase, “I’m sorry” to another child or adult. Perhaps it will show them what is appropriate to do to make amends. I do know, however, modeling this behavior for your child makes them see it as the right thing to do. They feel the need for something to happen after they have been treated unfairly, and a parent apologizing fulfills this need.
Children are so much more forgiving that adults, and they don’t hold grudges. When I’ve already messed up, and lost it, at least I know I can take the opportunity to model to my children what comes next.