~ 31 Days of Parenting Teens & Tweens, Day 12 ~
On day three of my #31Days parenting series, I suggested three things every t(w)een needs to hear on a regular basis (#5 on the list); today I'm offering three things every t(w)een needs to hear as circumstance warrants:
1) I was wrong.
News flash: You aren't perfect. Every decision you make as a parent isn't the right one, and that's okay. We're all just doing the best we can with what we know. Expressing these three words to your children ~
- models humilty
- strengthens your credibility
- reinforces your integrity and trustworthiness
- teaches them to so the same when they are wrong
It's a life skill many adults have never learned, and we all know how frustrating those people can be!
2) I'm sorry.
Two words that express more than simple apology, they indicate your desire to restore relationship. "I'm sorry" builds reconciliatory bridges. The words don't negate harsh words or errant deeds, but said when you've hurt your teen or tween in any capacity brings healing.
And I think they accomplish the same bullet points above.
3) I forgive you.
When children disappoint you, they know it. Whether or not they show it, they feel the weight of their transgression. They know you "have" to love them because they're your child; but they can also sense when you don't like them very much, because let's face it, sometimes you don't. At least, sometimes I don't.
"I forgive you" brings release. It binds broken hearts. It also brings reconciliation.
I know adults who've never heard these words from their parents; it is void that haunts.
Make sure your kids don't fall into that category.
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So appropriate. The inflection point in my relationship with my parents, where I began to really appreciate who they were and how they impacted my life, was when I began to realize they were fallible. Indeed, human.
Thanks for the timely reminder. It’s been top-of-mind lately.
Yes! Excellent truth. Humility with our children is an irreplaceable gift.
Oh lady! YES YES & YES!! This is a great post and if you haven’t read (in)courage today….these two posts should GO TOGETHER!!
I never heard my parents say I was wrong or I am sorry – it’s one of my main parenting objectives: to let know I am fallible/human and can make (sometimes) gigantic mistakes!
Carmi, you wouldn’t know it, but YOU’VE been on MY mind. I stalked your blog yesterday, trying to find out who in your world had been touched by cancer. I didn’t find out, but through your words and pictures, I left inspired, encouraged. You have that way, friend. 🙂
Lisa, if our kids can get that one? We can celebrate, yes?
Wanda, THANK YOU for pointing me to incourage today; I try to read most days, but sometimes it gets crowded out. You’re right, Angela’s post was spot on. 🙂
Liberty, well, I lost my mom when I was too young to remember her saying those things, but I rarely–ever?–heard my father. Already, my kids have heard it more. And my husband is much better at it than me….
I agree. We are not perfect although we try to aim toward perfection and do the right things as parents. Our kids need to know that we are human beings with our own fallacies but that we have been here longer and know quite a bit more, which makes us qualified to give them advice.
I couldn’t love this post more. Actually, I couldn’t love this whole series more.
And while we’re havin’ a love fest, I couldn’t love *YOU* more.
Please please please write a book so I can dog ear and highlight the livin’ daylights out of it!
You are so right. I think it’s important not to give your kids the impression that you are perfect, infallible.
Thank you, Robin! Thank you for joining my party, and thank you for choosing this post. I might have missed it otherwise–and this is so right-on. In the pressure of trying to be the very best parent I can be, I can sometimes forget that there’s something very concrete I can do when I mess up. To be honest, I think my kids are quicker to forgive me than most people–if I admit my mistakes and ask for their forgiveness. Thank you for reminding me to do that. And thank you for reminding me to TELL them that I forgive them for their mess-ups, too–there’s so much freedom to be had in actually hearing the truth, isn’t there? I need to make sure I say those words when I need to.
In asking for a link-back, I mostly just want people to help me get the word out. If you could include a note about that anywhere (on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, wherever), that would be great. If not, I understand. I’m just grateful you came to the party! And I hope others will do the same. The list of 700+ was daunting, but I know there are lots of series I’d love if I just got a chance to look at them. 🙂