As parents we must teach our children how to apologize fully. What do I mean by that? I mean saying “I’m sorry” isn’t enough. As we teach our children how to apologize fully, we must set the example as well.
As parents it is vital our children see us apologize, whether to them or our spouse (whomever an apology is due). If we don’t we are teaching them that when you get older you don’t have to apologize anymore. We teach pride over humility when we don’t “practice what we preach” if we demand our children to apologize but over look the instances when we sin against others. Little ones are looking to mama and daddy as examples in ALL areas of life. I want my children to see Jesus at work in me. I never want them to think I know everything, because I don’t. I do know the one (God) who knows everything. I want my children to see my dependence on the Lord, because I want them to depend on Him.
Some of you might thinking… well I’m the adult, I’m the authority… yes, you are. Parents are the authority over children, children are to obey their parents just as the Lord commands. Children are to respect authority in their lives. Apologizing when you have wronged someone, does not demean your authority. Apologizing shows humility which is something we MUST be modeling for our children. Obedience is not gained by dictatorship, obedience comes from love. That is a completely different blog post on its own. I just want you to understand you can still be the parent, in authority, while humbly admitting you were wrong.
How do you apologize completely?
I’m sorry I ………
They must admit what they have done.
It was wrong because…..
They need to understand why it was wrong.
Next time I will….
They need to know what the right choice would be next time.
Will you forgive me?
They must ask for forgiveness. This question is not to be overlooked. Asking forgiveness to receive it in return satisfies the soul.
*All of this must be done while looking into each others eyes. It’s important that we teach our children to look into people’s eyes when communicating.
Here is an example of a dispute between two little ones:
I’m sorry I grabbed that toy out of your hands.
It was wrong because I’m not suppose to grab things from others.
Next time I will use my words instead of my hands.
Will you forgive me?
I make my children hug it out if they are apologizing to their siblings, maybe just high-five it out if they are friends or classmates.
I follow this same example for apologizing completely to my children, as well as my husband. The look on my child’s face when I come down to their level, admit I was wrong, ask their forgiveness…. it’s priceless.
This is where heartstrings are mended and strengthened… in humility and honest sincerity.