Google+ Authentic Parenting: Should Parents Apologize? (Rerun)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Should Parents Apologize? (Rerun)

Some weeks ago, I had written an article about dealing with parental mistakes, and one of the steps I suggested was apologizing to your child.

 I think apologizing is a good means to show your child that you
 are remorseful
 that you know you made a mistake
 that you are not infallible
 that when you make mistakes, you are not above all the others
 and you can’t just ‘get away with it”

A comment on my Facebook page said that this particular person didn’t agree with apologizing to your child. She said her mother constantly apologized but it had no meaning in the end. I know all too well that not all apologies are created equal, and when someone is being apologetic without change or remorse, it doesn’t amount to much.

 Apologies only work when the child sees you make an active effort to change things. When you are not about to change, when you don’t particularly think you did something wrong, indeed doesn’t amount to much.

There is a huge difference between a genuine apology and someone who has adapted a general state of being apologetic, in order to void blame, “I apologized, so nobody needs to point fingers at me”. Hearing constant apologies for the same behavior sends the message to your child that apologies make it all right, no matter your behavior. However, if you are truly committed to your parenting project, to change and adapt, then apologies do belong in your parental toolbox.

Otherwise, you should rethink your approach.


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