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Essential Rules of Parenting: Discipline Do's and Dont's

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Apologize if You Get it Wrong


One of the things that should be coming through by now is that the way we behave is the strongest model our kids have for their own behavior. We've said that if you don't want them to lose their temper, you mustn't lose yours, and if you want them to say please and thank you, you must be as polite to them. Well, now here's another of those things you have to do with your kids, and funnily enough lots of parents seem to have a problem with this one.

I guess the feeling is that if you admit you were wrong, you undermine your child's confidence in your all-powerfulness. If you say sorry, they'll realize you're not always perfect. Well, I've got news for you. It's only a matter of time before they work this out for themselves. You might as well let them down gently by showing them, now and again, that you're not God and you do make mistakes.

The more ready you are to apologize when you're wrong, the more your kids will see that it's not belittling to admit to being wrong-grown-ups they admire can do it readily. And they'll also see that everyone makes mistakes and it's nothing to be ashamed of. Aware of, yes, and ready to put it right, but not shaming. You need your kids to regard saying sorry as something they instinctively do as soon as they realize they've hurt, offended, inconvenienced, or upset anyone.

Next: Let Them Back In

More on: Discipline Strategies

From The Rules of Parenting Copyright © 2008, FT Press. Used by permission of FT Press, and Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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