Love Is Having To Say, "I'm Sorry"

Many people have a hard time saying they’re sorry to anyone, let alone to their children, but there are times when it’s the only thing to do.  Apologizing when we’re wrong provides opportunities to teach valuable lessons to our sons and daughters.

I remember one evening after a very hard day of work when I was especially grouchy with my 10-year-old daughter.  After going to bed that night I just felt like I hadn’t treated her right and that I needed to ask her for forgiveness.

So before she left for school the next morning, I said, “Honey, I know that you know daddies aren’t perfect, and I have to admit I wasn’t fair with you last night.  I want you to forgive me.”

She put her arms around my neck and she 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 they’re eager to reconcile with you.  Although you may have to sputter out the words, asking a child for forgiveness when you’re wrong shows that you have flaws and imperfections like everyone else.  And it models apologetic behavior for them.

In the family where no apologies are offered, problems are often swept under the rug.  But by saying, “I’m sorry,” you 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.

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