Yesterday was one of those Tuesdays which felt like ten terrible not very good Mondays squished in one. I’ll spare you the details, other than to say that it started with my sitting in traffic for over an hour and missing an important meeting and involved spilled tea, temporarily lost phone and forgetting to call someone I really needed to call. Yowsa. Needless to say by the time I got home I was cranky and exhausted.
I don’t know about you, but one of the first things that goes when I am exhausted is patience (and no, I’m not a very patient person to begin with). So when my kiddo - who also happened to be pretty tired - was goofing off as we practiced piano, I got upset. When she left her dinner dishes on the table and walked out of the kitchen, I gave her a lecture on my not being her made and her needing to clean up the dishes (it’s one of her responsibilities in our family.) You get the idea — it was one of those evenings.
After I put her to bed, had some tea and caught my breath a bit I felt pretty terrible. I didn’t do anything awful but I could have been a lot more patient and less anal about stuff with her. I believe in teaching kids to be responsible but there are better ways to do it. So when she woke up this morning the first thing I did was go into her room, give her a huuuuge hug, and tell her that I was sorry for being so cranky last night.
I explained that I was really tired and while yes, she could have focused on piano a bit more and no, I shouldn’t have to remind her to clean up the dishes, I definitely over-reacted. She smiled, told me it was OK, and gave me a huuuuge hug back. We rocked out our busy morning (just girls in our house this week since my husband is traveling for work) and when I dropped her off at school I felt really happy that I apologized to her. Kids are resilient and one cranky parenting evening won’t do any damage — and I’m not even sure she remembered it after a good night of sleep — but I think it’s really important to say you’re sorry. It teaches her that parents aren’t perfect and do stupid stuff and it teaches her to be honest and say sorry when she does something wrong.
Do you apologize to your kids or do you feel as a parent, it’s not something you need to do?