Regardless of what anyone tells you, parenting is one of the hardest, most convoluted adventures one can embark on. There is no hard-set playbook for the rights and the wrongs of how to be a proficient parent, and that can be so inconvenient.
Saying “I’m sorry” is a vital component of being an attentive and skilled parent. It’s necessary to model humanness to our little humans and acknowledge even superhero Mommies and Daddies make mistakes sometimes.
However, there is an art to apologies, and this is a very handy trick.
I witness so many parents come down with a case of the “I’m sorrys”. Not-so-ironically, many of their children embrace the victimhood mentality and challenge boundaries with every breath they take.
When this is the case, I encourage these empathetic Mommies and Daddies to cut it out with the apologies. For the most part, they are saying sorry for being a proficient parent. It’s OK to set limits, bedtimes, rules around electronics, and family time. It’s also OK for your kiddos to not approve of or like these boundaries.
Because here’s the thing.
It’s crucial for youngsters to learn how to sit with uncomfortable emotions. As hard as it is to witness our children displeased, it’s an essential growing pain for morphing into an independent and confident adult. By unapologetically setting boundaries, you are not only modeling that boundaries demand to be respected, but you are encouraging your kiddos to problem solve and de-villainize tough emotions.
Apologize for and acknowledge human moments such as being late to pick up your child from school. Unless you kick your kid in the shin or embrace the parenting mentality of Matilda’s Mom and Dad, pause and think of what exactly you are feeling the urge to apologize for.
Instead of apologizing for the boundaries necessary for wholesome parenting, validate and normalize that uncomfortable emotions are tough and not easy to learn how to sit with. Validation is far more powerful, and growth-inspiring than apologies in these instances.