Its OK to Apologize to Your kids
This is an issue that plagues many families and many generations within a family. Somewhere in human life we lost respect for children and it shows in how we treat them. “Children are to be seen and not heard” is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard because children are people too! They talk and have things to say just like adults. They shouldn’t be silenced because we think child opinions aren’t valuable because they aren’t adults. There are a bunch of other sayings about kids that make no sense to many of us. I won’t go into all of that because I would be typing until I am 79.
We have this belief as a society that children are less than. That their feelings are to be discarded and ignored. We are taught that their feelings don’t matter and that their thoughts and desires are trivial. We only feel this way because we are taught that children are lesser beings. As children in America, we are often told that we are not equal to adults and somehow adults are some superior human just because they are older. For some odd reason elders are supposed to be given this great amount of respect just because they are old. It doesn’t matter if the elder is disrespectful or abusive, children are supposed to respect adults at all times.
Now these thoughts are problematic. They often leave adults feeling a sense of superiority over children. Now this leads to the focus of this post. When adults and in particular parents think they are superior they tend to disrespect, disregard and ignore the feelings of children, including their own as well. Parents will accuse their child then later find out their child has done nothing wrong. Instead of apologizing, too many parents decide to be extra nice or act like the incident never happened. They never give a formal apology. If the child questions why, they are usually ignored or parents say “it doesn’t matter now” or “I don’t want to talk about it” to dismiss any accountability on their part as a parent. The parent never accepts that they can be wrong. The parent never shows the child they are worthy of being apologized to.
Children need to be apologized to! It teaches them that parents are whole people. It teaches them that parents are not always right and it’s ok to make mistakes and be wrong. Children need to see that parents are whole people capable of showing empathy, sympathy and remorse when they offend and hurt children or other people. You cannot refuse to apologize to your kid and then wonder why he/she lacks empathy and doesn’t care when they wrong someone or accuse them of something they didn’t do. You cannot expect an emotionally secure child when you as an adult and parent are showing them the exact opposite of that. Children copy the behavior they see. They learn how to treat others based on how they are treated. Apologize and be kind. Children are people too.