I love letting my children know that I learn from them and that I also make mistakes just like they do. They feel so important and so proud of themselves when they teach me something. In truth, I learn from them all the time. I find it so important to let them know that they teach me, inspire me and most of all that they matter. I think Dr Seuss said it best, “A person's a person, no matter how small”.
This past weekend I asked my beloved middle child to get dressed and accompany to the shops. He got dressed hurriedly and then started watching a movie while waiting for me to get done. I decided that he looked quite happy and I asked my husband to stay with the kids while I went to the shops. Well, about ten minutes later I received a phone call from a crushed 7 year old: ‘Why did you just leave, why did you make me get dressed for nothing, why did you sneak off and not even say anything, why did you lie…….” They were all valid points. I felt so guilty. Then the adult in me thought, "Well too bad I'm here already with my trolley full and ready to pay, I'll just finish up and go home and say sorry". Then the child in me thought, "What about being all dressed up and excited to go out with mom?" I decided to leave the groceries and go back home to fetch my boy and to , of course, appologise.
When I saw him I immediately told him how sorry I was and that it was not kind to just sneak off. I asked if he would forgive me and join me at the shops. He immediately forgave me and he looked at me and said, "Thank you for coming back and thank you for saying sorry." Wow. It made me realize that as parents we often forget to hold ourselves to the same standards we set for our children.
I think that, while I try to mirror a good image to my kids, it is not a perfect image. Authenticity is so important. I make mistakes all the time and I let my children know this. It is so important for children to be acknowledged when they were right and, perhaps, we were wrong. In this case, it was a simple apology that let me little boy know he matters and made him feel validated and important. So simple but impactful.
When was the last time you said sorry to your child for something you did wrong?