Have you ever apologized to your kids?
Picture the scene: you walk in the door, your kids have been playing and there is mess everywhere, everywhere! The lounge room floor looks like a bomb site… between the lego, the craft, the empty cups, dropped clothes not to mention the furniture that’s been moved so that you trip on it. Before you think, you find yourself yelling at your kids or moaning loudly about the mess and to clean it up, now! You give them no chance to explain.
Once you have calmed, quite a while later, you realize you overreacted to the mess, after all they were just having fun, totally engrossed and forgot to pick up as they were finished. Next you are apologizing to your kids, explaining that you are tired and that mummy should never have become so cranky. Then you find yourself wondering… should I really be apologizing to my kids?? Is that the right thing to do? Isn’t that like admitting you’ve made a mistake? Exactly. And its definitely the right choice.
Apologizing is admitting you made a poor choice that your emotions got the better of you. It’s taking responsibility for your actions and saying, sorry, I should have done this ……. instead. This is exactly one of the lessons as a parent you are trying to teach your child. Think about your emotions. Apologize if you made the wrong choice and learn from it. We all know as parents you are the biggest role model your child will ever have.
Next time you walk in that door, say you’re tired and cranky and need ‘parents time out’ I call it, before you come back to the lounge and work through the tidy up sequence with them. You are talking about your emotions and showing your children how they too can proactively deal with their own emotions. Which is a much better choice than being reactive and letting it all out. Still finding it too difficult? Then get yourself a good nights sleep, it will work wonders. Like to read more: 9 Ways to Be the Best Role Model You can Be by Taibbi published in Psychology Today.