Monday, April 29, 2013

"Love Story" had it very, very wrong

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry”.  

Oh, puh-leeze!!!!!!  Love means respect.  Love means care, concern, compassion!  Love absolutely means having to say you’re sorry!!

Here’s the unfortunate reality, readers, we adults screw up.  We make mistakes.  Big ones. Little ones.

When we make a mistake
with the kids we care about, 
the greatest gift we can give them
is an apology.

Does my bold print make the message louder and more clear? I hope so because I am so passionate about this!!!.

As adults, we carry innate power in the lives of children and we should.  Most times, we do know what’s best for them and we do know what they should and shouldn’t be doing but sometimes we make a mistake. 

  • We are late picking them up for an activity.          
  • We forget to sign a permission slip.
  • We yell out of frustration and impatience.        
  • We blame the wrong kid for a certain “crime”.

Despite our best intentions, we are not perfect (that’s a blog post for another time) and we make a mistake. Providing the child with the experience that when adults make mistakes, they apologize is a life lesson beyond measure.  Why?

Apologies teach kids they are worthy of respect.

Apologies build trust.  
Ignoring a mistake sends the message that adults don’t care about what they think or what their experience is. Seeing an adult admit to a mistake builds trust. Trust increases attachment and closeness.  

When we model for kids how to make an apology, they learn how to forgive. 
They learn mistakes can be forgiven. They will have an easier time believing in their worth after their next mistake.

When it’s their turn, they will be more likely to apologize.
You might be thinking that I am preaching to the choir.  You apologize to your child all the time.  If so, great.  But I do know some parents worry that an apology makes them seem weak. They think that an apology causes them to lose credibility with their child.

Some parents even fear their child seeing them in the vulnerable place of making an apology. 

Not true! Not true! Not true!  

Did saying it three times help? Hope so.
We’re all human and we all make mistakes. 

Teaching a child that adults are no different and that they are worthy of apologies, too, is a gift. It will last them longer than the time you can beat yourself up over it.

This is a tough talk and you might not be ready to have one.  Learn more about tough talks on my website.

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