Tools For Learning

Inspiration for Parents & Educators

How to Apologize to Your Kids


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How to apologize to your kids is sometimes a touchy subject for moms and dads. I think it would be remiss of me, though, if I ignored it or sloughed over it. As good parents that we are, we teach our children to act in acceptable ways by helping them understand what their mistakes are, make amends for the repercussions, and then plan to avoid the faux pas in the future.

Shouldn’t the same pattern apply to us when we make a parenting mistake??????

Perhaps we yelled in a loud voice. Perhaps we took toys away before really listening to our kids’ side of the story. Perhaps we ignored their pleas to be heard. Even the best parents, at some point, make mistakes.

Believe me, it won’t hurt your authority over your family one bit to gather up your crying child, give her a big hug and, offer a heartfelt apology. Your young ones respect and love for you in this instance will not be undone because you sincerely admit you made a mistake. On the contrary, it will be made stronger and strengthen your already great relationship. By offering a genuine apology, you are modeling humility and validating any confusion and pain they are experiencing.

Follow these short and easy steps if you are in need of some help when the need arises for how to apologize to your kids.

1. Take them aside, and genuinely tell them you are sorry.

2. Explain that you over reacted, and that your action was wrong.

3. Reassure them that you love them, and that you want to be a good parent.

4. Ask for their forgiveness.

Apologizing to your children takes strength, confidence, and humility. You are giving them a beautiful gift when you reconcile with your kids. You are showing them that they are valuable, and they are worthy of an apology. Their self-esteem will blossom as a result. You are also setting an example that teaches them to apologize to others. Think of the benefits for their future careers, marriages, and families. Habits of honesty and forgiveness will lead to a more peaceful environment at home. The choice is up to you, now, mom and dad!


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Seeing the World Through a Child’s Eyes

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Have you ever reflected on how your child sees the world? Have you ever wondered how she feels when she asks you to play with her? I’ve often thought of these things lately with my 2 little, precious, granddaughters. I don’t think I ever much thought about how my grown  son was seeing his world through a child’seyes….I was too busy doing all the things a working mom had to do, and had little time to be reflective. But now I wish I was, way back then. I would have learned from it all and probably would have done some things differently.  I’m so thankful that I have the time and wisdom to explore these ideas with my grandchildren now.

Truthfully, the only real way to know for sure how kids feel about things is to ask them! Most parents believe they know what’s best for their children. While that may be true to a greater extent, experts like John Gottman, professor emeritus in psychology at the University of Washington, has suggested that kids should have a say. He offers the idea that parents should resist the urge to correct children and steer them in the direction they  think they should go all the time.

What is the most effective way to do this? Think about how you would feel if you were in your child’s situation. If you want to understand how your child feels when she can’t find her blanket, think how you would fee if your credit card or iPhone was lost. You’d be quite upset, I’m sure!

Ask your kids more questions and avoid unnecessary battles. Take for example the scenario when you tell your daughter to put her toys away before dinner and she quickly says: “NO”! Instead of jumping to the conclusion ask her why she doesn’t want to put his toys away before dinner.  I experienced this scene of events recently with my 4 year old granddaughter, and she said that she wanted to play with them after dinner before she watches her show before bedtime. The problem was solved when we were on the “same page”. Most kids know what they want, and are willing to clue parents and grandparents in when they are just asked.

Another, great “rule of thumb” is to give children choices. I had much success with this strategy with my son and granddaughter. She seems to thrive on choices! As kids are given more choices they are able to learn from their mistakes. They are also forced to think through a situation and come to a decision. Kids will be better prepared for life if you allow them to make some decisions at an early age. What would happen if they make a wrong choice, but, also, think what would happen if they make the right choice?

It’s not the easiest thing for a parent to allow their children to learn for themselves. They want to protect their kids and keep them safe for sure but  be a bit more flexible! Keep in mind that your kids are living, breathing human beings with feelings, needs, and wants, Give your children the respect  that you demand from them in return.

Practice seeing the world through a child’s eyes! You’ll be amazed at the changes you will both experience and appreciate!

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