Apologizing can be so uncomfortable.
I should know.
I suck at it.
Just ask my husband.
And my kids, well, with me as their model, they ain't the best at it either.
here we are,
a family of stinky apologizers,
who are each equally imperfect,
prone to making mistakes,
all quick to irritate,
and you can bet your biscuit, on a typical day,
all of us do something to another one of us that we very well should apologize for.
I wanna be a good role model, but I'm only human.
They want to be good humans, but they're stuck with the role models they've got.
So here's what I'm going to do — next time one of my kids is having a hard time saying "sorry," I'm gonna remember how hard it remains for me, even as an adult, to acknowledge I'm not perfect and don't always do the right thing.
Then I'm going to relate to my kid.
I'll encourage meaningful understanding and a genuine apology, but I won't force it.
Then I'm gonna listen.
I'm going to give 'em some space.
And in that space, I'm going to find myself praying that it doesn't take my kids the 34 years it took me to learn that to be sorry never makes you look weak and, in fact, just the opposite — it makes you look strong as hell.
Strong and kind.
Strong and empathetic.
Strong and evolving.
I used to think that admitting I was wrong about something (anything) meant that I was a shitty human cause only crap people make and continue to make the same mistakes.
And who wants to feel like that? Not me. So I'd be defensive and unapologetic.
Until I wasn't anymore.
Until I had kids.
Until I found myself screwing up multiple times every gosh darn day.
Until I saw my child fear imperfection so tremendously, she'd defend her perfection to the point of tears if it meant she didn't have to acknowledge her flaws.
Just like her mama would do.
So now I talk to my kids about what sorry is all about, why it's such a fundamental and essential emotion, and one we must be loud about when we're feeling it.
Both for us and the receivers of our apologies.
Apologizing can be uncomfortable, and that's precisely why you should regularly be apologizing to your kids.
To show them there is no shame in it,
and to teach them that what's more uncomfortable than acknowledging that you're a delightfully defective human
-- like every one of the rest of us --
is living a life in which you've allowed yourself no room for growth, and you've
alienated everyone in the room by never apologizing for any your mistakes.
I wanna be a good role model,
but I'm only human,
and I'm sorry I'm not sorry about that because,
as it turns out,
it means my kids are in good company.