Why I Am Not Sorry To Say Sorry To My Child

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

Never miss real stories from India's women.

Register Now

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!


About the Author

Anupama Dalmia

Multiple award winning blogger, influencer, author, multi-faceted entrepreneur, creative writing mentor, choreographer, social activist and a wanderer at heart read more...

115 Posts | 744,103 Views

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

All Categories