Apologizing to My Kid

My daughter disobeyed me this weekend. She’s six. She’s a great kid, but it happens.

Somehow it hit me just the right way and I blew my top and yelled at her. Not a corrective or constructive yell (the kind you use when you find your kids playing in the street) but an over-the-top angry yell. I surprised myself and her.

I felt horrible.

She was wrong, but I was more so. I know better and usually do a much better job of reigning-in my temper. My wife and I are great at tag-teaming discipline when one or the other is too angry to handle things constructively. This time, I had a major parenting FAIL.

I had to apologize. There was nothing else I could do.

“Daddy needs to talk with you.” as I positioned myself to talk with her eye-to-eye.

“Yes sir.” She said, eyes red and puffy.

“I shouldn’t have yelled at you. Even though you disobeyed me, I should never have yelled at you like that. I am so sorry.”

“Thank you for your sorry. I’m sorry I disobeyed.”

We hugged.

She forgave me in an instant. The world was a better place.

I knew how to apologize to her because of the way my dad apologized to me when I was a kid. I’m so grateful to him for showing me the right way to relate with my children. I hope my daughter and son never need to apologize to their kids. But, being a parent of two, I know they will eventually. How I handle my screw-ups is just as much an example to my kids as how I handle my successes.

3 Comment

  1. I’ve had to do the same thing with my children before. Sometimes, despite trying to be the best parents we can be, we lose it. Our tempers escape and the reality is, it’s never the childs fault.

    Congratulations on being able to admit you overreacted and take the steps to appologize to your little girl. Both show great signs of character.

    We need more parents like you in the world.

  2. Paul Watson says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Rebecca. I hope I can live up to them!
    -Paul.

  3. I yelled at my usually well behaved 3 1/2 year old today. She wasn’t listening, I was already stressed and grumpy…not that that’s an excuse. I sent her straight to bed (she was on her way there in a half hour anyway). I wasn’t sure if I had overreacted or not. I Googled “overreated yelled at my kid” and found your post. I took it as a sign that I need to apologize to her in the morning. Thanks for sharing your story. Hopefully my daughter will forgive me as quickly.

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