5 Reasons I Need to Apologize for my Huge Parenting Fail

I have a confession to make: I’m a yeller.

A lot of people don’t believe me when I say that due to my agreeable personality. That and the fact that I avoid conflict with other adults like the plague.

I was raised by sweet, calm people who would definitely let us know if we were being jerks - by yelling at us. Now I am a mom, and I have four sons. Four sons with completely different personalities. In fact, if I had three more, I could write my own live television version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and try to sell it to NBC. I'd bring back Carrie Underwood to play Snow White because I would have to play the wicked queen to my dwarves Pokey, Spazzy, Moody, and Loudy. With so many personalities bouncing off the walls at our house, sometimes I just find my patience wearing thin.

So unfortunately, sometimes I yell at my children. (It's not the first time I've contemplated how I've failed as a parent.)

There was one morning we were running late to school. Everyone had been slow to get out of bed, books and school supplies were mysteriously missing, and the one who had been up the longest suddenly had to take (leave?) an epic poop.

As I sped through the streets in an effort to get to school in the last minutes before the bell rang, I let off a tirade of verbal abuse on my sons.

As they left the car in silence, I pulled out of the school parking lot with tears welling in my eyes. That is not the kind of mom I am, nor that I want to be.

I felt awful all day.

When we returned home that evening we talked about their behavior - and mine - and discussed what needed to change.

And yes, I apologized to my sons for my yelling rant.

In fact, I apologize to my boys quite a bit for five important reasons:

1. It shows them that I am human, too, and that even adults make mistakes. I've never admitted to being perfect, and I don't expect my children to be either. If you push children to perfection, you are setting them up for failure. The same goes for parenting or simply living as a human being.

2. It teaches them how and when to apologize. So often we tell children to apologize. A mumbled "sorry" occurs which no one feels better about; and consequently, children don't learn the proper way to make amends. I apologize because I genuinely feel bad, and hopefully they will take that lead in the future.

3. It shows them that since I love them, I care about their feelings. We can care about people's feelings and not love them, per se; but loving someone and being respectful and gentle with their feelings should go hand-in-hand. It's an important lesson that everyone who plans on being in any kind of relationship should learn.

4. Sometimes we are simply wrong, and apologizing is the right thing to do.  Let's face it, I am not going to be the only adult they ever see displaying socially inappropriate behavior. Our society is defined these days by selfish, anger-filled rants - on television, in the political and news arenas, and on social media. And it's so not cool.

5. You get to make up. Ice cream, popcorn and a movie, a game, a snuggle on the couch - all special perks of making up after you've both behaved badly. Let's face it, they did something boneheaded in the first place; and seeing that their precursor to an apology is doing extra chores or telling me I'm the prettiest mom in the whole world is kinda great.

I'm the first to admit that not all my parenting moments are worthy of a blue ribbon or even a crappy gold star. I know when I should apologize for my decision-making fails. Hopefully my sons will forgive and take my lead the next time they are in the wrong, too.

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Have you ever made an epic PARENTING mistake? Need to apologize to your KIDS? Here are five good reasons why you should (number 5 is my personal favorite).
stock images on freedigitalphotos.com
What do you think the best thing about apologies is? 

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