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A few days ago, after realizing I had unfairly screamed on my daughter pertaining to a school related matter, I apologized to her when we were in our society lift. Someone beside us commented right then – “These days, parents have to apologize to kids. No wonder kids are becoming arrogant.” I wanted to respond but we were getting late for the school bus, so I ignored and made a dash towards the bus stop. But this incident made me think of how a simple, heartfelt ‘sorry’ is not really ingrained in the parent-child dynamic in our society.
Parenting is a roller-coaster of a ride with endless obstacles to overcome. As parents, we strive to provide the best for our children, but we are not immune to making mistakes along the way. Acknowledging our mistakes and offering a genuine apology is an essential aspect of building healthy and trusting relationships with our children. However, largely, we have not been brought up with this mindset. In India, especially, parents have always been considered right and often, the feeling of being ‘sorry’ gets crushed under the parental ego. But I strongly believe in the importance of saying sorry to our kids and the positive impact it can have on their emotional well-being and the parent-child bond.
Modeling Accountability and Responsibility
Children learn by observing their parents’ behavior. Just because we are adults, can we be absolved of our mistakes or erroneous actions? When we make a mistake and take responsibility for it by saying sorry, we teach our children an invaluable lesson in accountability and responsibility. By admitting our faults, we show them that everyone makes mistakes and it is important to take ownership of our actions. This teaches children to accept responsibility for their own mistakes and fosters a culture of accountability in the family which also extends to their social behaviour.
Validating Their Emotions
Children experience a wide range of emotions as they navigate through different stages of development. Sometimes, our actions or words unintentionally hurt their feelings or cause distress. By apologizing, we validate their emotions and let them know that their feelings are acknowledged and respected. This validation helps children feel heard and understood, promoting their emotional well-being and building trust within the parent-child relationship. This also makes them understand the purpose of an apology and how we do it right. Just because we did not find our actions/words hurtful, we cannot invalidate the other person’s feelings.
Strengthening Trust and Communication
Apologizing to our children demonstrates that we value and respect their feelings and opinions. It creates an environment where open and honest communication can flourish. When children see that their parents are willing to admit their mistakes and make amends, they feel more comfortable sharing their own concerns, fears, and mistakes. My daughter has seen my vulnerabilities and flaws closely, and this has made her acknowledge and appreciate that her mother is not a superhuman. She is aware that she can share her thoughts and emotions in the safe space that we have tried to provide her. This open dialogue builds a strong foundation of trust that can enable parents to better understand their children’s needs and concerns, which is all the more crucial in the times we live in.
Teaching Conflict Resolution
Conflict is a natural part of any relationship, including a parent-child equation. By apologizing, parents model healthy conflict resolution strategies. Children learn that conflicts can be resolved through open and clear communication, understanding, and willingness to make amends. They witness the importance of seeking resolution rather than letting conflicts fester, promoting peaceful and respectful interactions in their own lives.
Nurturing Empathy and Compassion
Apologizing to our children nurtures empathy and compassion within them. When they see us acknowledging our mistakes, they understand that everyone is fallible, including themselves. This encourages them to develop empathy towards others, as they recognize that everyone deserves forgiveness and understanding. It fosters an environment of compassion, kindness, and forgiveness within the family.
In my 8.5 years of experience as a parent, I have discovered that apologizing to our children is a powerful parenting tool that strengthens our bond with them, nurtures their emotional well-being, and cultivates a positive family environment. As parents, we must recognize that we are not unfailing and that our actions can impact our children deeply. By acknowledging our mistakes, taking responsibility, and offering a genuine apology, we teach our children important life lessons. As a result of this, they do not fear making mistakes, and do not let egos come in between relationships and other life matters. Additionally, this unburdens parents and makes the parenting journey a lot more fun and beautiful.
Let us embrace the power of apology and not be sorry to say sorry!
Multiple award winning blogger, influencer, author, multi-faceted entrepreneur, creative writing mentor, choreographer, social activist and a wanderer at heart read more...
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If her MIL had accepted her with some affection, wouldn't they have built a mutually happier relationship by now?
The incident took place ten years ago.
Smita could visit her mother only in summers when her daughter had school holidays. Her daughter also enjoyed meeting her Nani, and both of them had done their reservations for a week. A month before their visit, her husband told her, “My mom is coming for 4-5 months!”
Smita shuddered. She knew the repercussions. She would have to hear sarcastic comments from her mother-in-law for visiting her mother. She may make these comments directly only a bit, but her servants would be flooded with the words, “How horrible she is! She leaves me and goes!”
Maybe Animal is going to make Ranbir the superstar he yearns to be, but is this the kind of legacy his grandfather and granduncles would wish for?
I have no intention of watching Animal. I have heard it’s acting like a small baby screaming and yelling for attention. However, I read some interesting reviews which gave away the original, brilliant and awe-inspiring plot (was that sarcastic enough?), and I don’t really need to go watch it to have an informed opinion.
A little boy craves for his father’s love but doesn’t get it so uses it as an excuse to kill a whole bunch of people when he grows up. Poor paapa (baby) what else could he do?
I was wondering; if any woman director gets inspired by this movie and replicates this with a female protagonist, what would happen?. Oh wait, that’s the story of so many women in this world. Forget about not giving them love, you have fathers who try to kill their daughters or sell them off or do other equally despicable things.
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