Parents are the most guilt-ridden segment of our society. We all try to do our best, but if we are honest, we know we have fallen short on many occasions. The only real answer or starting point to guilt is to apologize. We can’t have a redo.
Do you think you may need to apologize? Do you experience the following emotions when you consider your role or interact with your young adult?
Or do you have one or more of these thoughts:
- _____I Know I said or did things that were wrong.
- _____I think my parenting may have contributed to problems my young adult has.
- _____I wish I could go back and redo one or more parenting actions.
- _____My young adult feels hurt and angry over specific past parenting actions.
Here Are Just a Few:
An apology is one of the two healing practices parents can adopt to restore their relationship with the young adult. By acknowledging and accepting responsibility for past failures, parents are able to let go of the guilt and remorse that have bound them in a negative way to their young adult. Such guilt also causes parents to give in or “enable” irresponsible behavior since the parent may think they are the cause of this. By accepting your part without blaming the young adult, you reduce their need to blame and hold you responsible for their shortcomings. It frees them from harboring anger and resentment because they believe you were not willing to take responsibly for your part. Finally, in practicing the art of apology, whether as relates to past parenting actions or recent mistakes, you model the behavior you would like to see in your young adult. It will draw you and your young adult closer.
Parents – I Want to Hear From You!
Should parents apologize? When? For what? Have you apologized and what was the impact on you, your young adult or your relationship with them?
Read part two of this focus on apology involves a description of the right and wrong way to apologize to our kids at any age.