I Apologize to My Kids All the Time, but I Don't Think It Makes Me a Bad Parent
I'll be the first one to admit that my parenting has been below mediocre lately — I'd say I'm earning a C-. For starters, our house is currently in an upheaval during a kitchen renovation. So, from not being able to find a single coffee mug to frequently inhaling the dust swirling around our house, the stress is starting to get to me. While I fully understand that home renovations are a blessing and not a problem, I can't help but act like a pain in the ass sometimes. I roll my eyes while stomping down the too-crowded hallways, I whisper swear words under my breath at the constant mess, and worst of all, I lose my temper with my kids.
They need to know that I'm not perfect, and when I mess up or lose my temper, they absolutely deserve an "I'm sorry" from me.
But with each subpar parenting move I make, I always make sure to do something else: say sorry to my children. It's not their fault their mother gets stressed out (even though they do test my patience all the time). So, while I know I'm the parent and I need to be the one teaching them lessons about how not to screw up, I don't feel bad or weird for apologizing to them on a regular basis. They need to know that I'm not perfect, and when I mess up or lose my temper, they absolutely deserve an "I'm sorry" from me.
By making big and small mistakes, and recognizing them to my kids, I hope I'm also teaching them about forgiveness. When they say sorry to me after doing something wrong, I always tell them I forgive them and that I love them. And whenever I say the same to them, their tough shells crack and we all quickly move on. If I never apologize for my own errors, my kids won't know how to model that same behavior. They'll learn that treating people badly has no repercussions. They'll grow into poor teammates, bad classmates, and negative coworkers. And worse, no one will want to stick by their sides.
So, instead of ignoring the fact that I can act like a jerk to my kids, I'll keep saying "I'm sorry" to them whenever I mess up. I'll continue to do my best at this whole parenting thing, even if that means I fail daily. They'll learn that imperfections are just a part of life and that no one is perfect — not even Mom.