When she heard this story, Elizabeth Cottrell, author of the popular book, Heartspoken: How to Write Notes that Connect, Comfort, Encourage, and Inspire, had this to say – “This message should be taught in school! So important that we model the ability to say “I’m sorry” to our children.”
How easy is it for you to say “I’m sorry”? Some people just can’t seem to do it – especially when it comes to their children. They seem to feel it takes away from their authority, to admit that they were wrong about something.
Personally, I think such admissions are necessary to an honest relationship. Do you really think your kids believe that you are always, always right? Let’s get real.
So if they already know you make mistakes, why not admit it? Tell them how you got off track, so you can have better communication next time. Saying you are sorry shows respect, and respect is due everyone – no matter what their age.
And when one of your kids admits a mistake, don’t make it time for punishment. Allow an apology and use the experience to help the young person to learn something. Teach them the art of graciously accepting an apology. Being right all the time is not the goal. It’s DOING what’s right – even when you’ve misspoken.
Saying “I’m sorry” should be easy – especially when you’re saying it to someone who is dear to you.
Apologizing does not always mean that you’re wrong and the other person is right. Rather, it means that you value your relationship more than your ego.
P.S. “I’m sorry” also spells out well in the hand-written notes advocated by Elizabeth Cottrell in her book. (See link at top of this post.)