Why We’ll Always Apologize to Our Kids

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A few days ago, my husband and I were watching Kim’s Convenience.

Sidenote: please watch this on Netflix if you haven’t yet – it’s hilarious.

We paused to talk about family expectations and how we wished we had families that spent time together as adults. How wonderful it would be to take big family vacations and have game nights or to discuss various topics…

Without people stonewalling you and withdrawing because they don’t agree. 

We hope to have this type of relationship with our children throughout their lives and into their adulthood. We share our values with them, encourage them to ask questions, and try our best to let them form their own preferences and opinions. I’m guessing the opinion portion isn’t difficult for your children either?

But letting your children disagree with you and your stances, apologizing when you’re wrong or you’ve overreacted, and respecting their choices are all signs of healthy family dynamics. We’ll still get hurt and act in ways that aren’t beneficial, however, we can ask for forgiveness or apologize, work through it, and recover or reconcile our relationships.

Many people didn’t have this model. Your parents didn’t apologize, your opinion wasn’t valued, and your choices weren’t respected or maybe you didn’t even have a choice.

Now, as an adult, you might have strained or superficial relationships with your family because the appearance of involvement in your life is more important to them than actually being involved in your life. But, you have the ability to make changes and break the cycle of domineering “do-as-I-say” or “no questions asked” parenting and instead practice being a respectful and humble parent.

We want better foundations for our children. We want them to know we are their safe space and that we’re here to guide them and help them become healthy people. We want disagreements that lead to discussions, we want love to be at the core of how we speak to and view each other, we want to like each other and enjoy spending time together that isn’t artificial.

We try to take stock of our parenting frequently and make adjustments, we hold one another accountable for apologizing, and we hope that our children will grow up and want to spend time with us. Hopefully, they won’t need as much therapy as we did.

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