Should a parent apologize to a child? Absolutely. It’s good to model apologizing and it helps build trust. But not too long ago I was at a point where I was apologizing so much it started affecting the parent-child dynamic. My 8-year-old daughter tried out some snippy back-talk when I asked her if she’d done her chores. I corrected her and sent her to her room for some time to cool down. When I went in to talk to her, she sat up and said, “Are you going to say sorry now?”

Um, excuse me? I realized in that moment that I was apologizing so much to my kids that they were starting to assume an apology was coming. I’d given them the impression that I was always at fault in some way. I will always admit when I’ve hurt or offended them, but if I’m apologizing at times when I shouldn’t, I’m missing out on opportunities to help them grow and learn from their mistakes. So should a parent apologize to a child? Yes, but there are 3 times you should think twice before saying, “I’m sorry.”


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