How to Make Amends with your Children
Updated: Jan 12, 2020
“The source of everything, is in our eyes. I see the good in yours, seeing the good in mine.” ~Sarah Slean
Sometimes, in my quest to be a good parent, I make a mistake. Sometimes, in spite of all that I know, I do or say the wrong thing to my children. I know the moment is coming before it even happens, I feel my patience thinning, for whatever reason, and instead of lovingly responding to my child, I do that ugly, reactive thing instead.
Those moments are very hurtful for everyone involved. But, after I am able to collect myself, I realize that I need to make amends. The benefits of apologizing to your child are numerous; it let’s them know you aren’t perfect (which they sometimes believe in childhood), it teaches them conflict resolution, loving communication, and so on. But there is one really amazing thing about apologizing to your child.
Unlike (some) adults, children always forgive you. Completely. When I look into my son’s eyes, hold him close, and say “I’m sorry that I…,” he says, with such love and understanding, “That’s okay.” and then he never mentions it again.
I can’t really explain what a gift that can be to a parent, who is really trying their best, but occasionally makes a mistake. When I think of the unconditional love that children have for their parents, it almost hurts me. I feel it is such an honour to possess that love, and that we also need to be very careful with these little vulnerable beings who are so free with forgiveness.
I have also learned something else from these exchanges with my children; I deserve forgiveness. Even though I don’t necessarily believe that all of the time, I am learning that everyone make mistakes, and that if we are sorry and try to make improvements, we do deserve forgiveness.
Because, sometimes when my children look into my eyes, I get this feeling that they can really see me. The real me. And they love that person. That hopelessly flawed person. Except, they don't actually see those flaws. So after I make amends, and am forgiven, I try to remember to give myself that forgiveness too.