Saying "I'm Sorry"

Many people have a hard time saying they're sorry to anyone, let alone to their own children. Although it's hard to do, apologizing when we're wrong provides opportunities to teach valuable lessons to our sons and daughters.

This is Dr. James Dobson with Focus on the Family. I remember a time when our children were young, that I was particularly weighed down by the pressures that made me tired and irritable in the evenings. One night I was especially grouchy and short-tempered with my ten year old daughter. After going to bed I felt bad about the way I'd treated her, and I just felt like I needed to ask her for forgiveness. Before she left for school the next morning, I said, "Honey, I'm sure you know that daddies aren't perfect, and I know I wasn't fair with you last night. I want you to forgive me." She put her arms around my neck and shocked me down to my toes. She said, "I knew you were gonna have to say that, Daddy, and it's okay. I forgive you." Like my daughter, most children are very resilient and eager to reconcile. Although you may have to choke out the words, asking them for forgiveness shows that you're human with flaws and imperfections like anyone else. And it also creates an atmosphere wherein conflict and frustration can be resolved.

In the family where no apologies are offered, problems are often left unresolved and swept under the rug. But saying, "I'm sorry" can bring a world of healing and calm to an irritable and stressed-out household. It's a humbling experience, to be sure, but we can all stand a little unscheduled humility. This is Dr. James Dobson for Focus on the Family.

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