Parenting isn’t always roses. There will be times when it all piles up — the dog pees on the carpet, you haven’t slept, your toddler is throwing his breakfast across the floor, and everything goes wrong all at once. You end up losing your cool. Perhaps more often than you like. Aside from doing internal work to improve those unhealthy responses, you find yourself wondering how to remedy the mistake you made and make it right with your kiddo.
Every parent will face those moments when we say to ourselves, “Ugh, I just blew it. Now what?”
Recognizing and owning your mistakes with your children will be one of the best things you can do in parenting. After all, you’re the example of everything to them. They will, in turn, learn how to own their own mistakes from you modeling this.
When you apologize to your kids after you’ve yelled at them, you teach them a few incredible life lessons.
- We all make mistakes, and that’s okay.
- We are not responsible for others’ feelings.
- Mommy isn’t perfect. You also don’t have to be.
What happens when we don’t apologize?
- We confuse our children – how can we expect them to own their mistakes when we can’t first model that for them.
- They start thinking that THEY are the problem, not your response.
- We make them believe they are responsible for our feelings and strong emotions.
- We play a part in teaching them people-pleasing behavior.
- Your kids will start viewing you as always right, which causes them to think they are always wrong.
Not being humble before your kids has many consequences, not only in their life but also in yours. It will affect your relationship even more than you realize. Owning your mistakes is a powerful way to connect with your child. It shows them that you’re human, not perfect. It can be easy for a child to view their parent as perfect. After all, we are the ones continually correcting their misbehavior. But if we don’t balance that with encouragement, grace, and humility, their view of themselves and you will be quite skewed.
So what should you do when you’ve messed up and yelled at your child? Because let’s face it. We ALL lose our cool. Here are some great responses that will help your child process what just happened healthily.
1. “I shouldn’t have talked to you that way. That was wrong. Can you forgive me?”
It’s simple and straightforward. You wronged them, and now you have the power to make it right. Not only will this model for them a healthy response the next time they make a mistake, but they will also recognize that you’re imperfect!
2. “You don’t deserve to be talked to that way. I’m sorry. Here’s what I meant to say.”
Pointing out your child doesn’t deserve to be talked to that way helps them to see their worth. This will also prepare them for situations that may arise in other relationships.
3. “Can we have a do-over? I don’t like the way I talked to you. I’m sorry.”
Asking to try again is a great way to right a wrong. They will also learn from this and hopefully use that in their communication tool belt one day.
4. “My feelings are my responsibility, not yours. It’s not okay for me to talk to you that way. I’m sorry.”
Another great way to use a challenging moment for a teachable moment. Pointing out the fact that they aren’t responsible for your feelings will help them steer clear of those people-pleasing tendencies many of us struggle with.
5. “I’m sorry I lost my cool. I am on your team. What can I help you with right now?”
Reminding them whose team you’re on is a great way to bring connection with your child after you’ve yelled. You remind them that you want the best for them and that you’re still there.
Sometimes, we all just need to take a pause.
There are moments in our relationships where you might not feel capable of a healthy response. This is a great time to remove yourself from the situation and revisit things when you and your child have calmed down.
That’s when you can say something like this.
“Mommy is overwhelmed and needs a break, just like you sometimes do. Can I hold you until we can both calm down?”
It’s perfectly okay to take a break and calm down. Just like our children can’t make good decisions when their emotions are out of control, the same can be said for us. This can also help them recognize what to say when feeling overwhelmed.
But after you’ve calmed down, revisit the situation and apologize for losing your cool.
I hope these phrases help you the next time you lose your cool! What are some things you say after you’ve lost your cool? Comment below!
Positive parenting tools for every parent
Screen Time Protection and Teaching Moderation
Bark Premium (Parental Control App – use this link or code WFTBBLOG to try it for an EXTRA one-month FREE) – Read more about Bark Premium; perfect if your child already has a phone, but you need a parental control app to do the heavy lifting of content monitoring.
The Bark Phone – Perfect for parents looking to find their children an affordable phone that protects them from all angles – internet, unsafe apps, messaging, cyberbullying, emails, etc. Starting at $49/mo, all plans include a phone, Bark Premium, and wireless service, with no contract commitment. For younger kids, you, as the parent, can enable the phone for messaging and calls ONLY. And as they mature, you can allow more freedoms/apps (any app you wish). This phone grows WITH your child and eliminates the need to purchase multiple phones at various times in their maturity.
Computer use – When it comes to their computers, you can use Covenant Eyes.
TV’s, gaming consoles, and at-home protection – Bark Home (manage screen time and filter websites on all of the internet-connected devices in your house — including gaming consoles, TVs, and more. VidAngel (Skip or mute what you don’t want to see or hear on popular streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu.)
Screen Time Checklist Printable for Kids – FREE if you sign up for our weekly newsletter. Just fill out your info below.
Book List for Kids and Parents
Check out my recommended books for parenting.
Journaling for Kids
When a child is old enough to start drawing, coloring, or writing, journaling is an incredible way to help your kids better express themselves. Check out our Kid’s Printable Journals — created specifically to help children better express their feelings, encourage gratitude, and spark the imagination.
Chores for Kids
Magnetized Chalk Chart for Fridge
Implementing chores and structure in your child’s daily life is a beneficial tool to teach them follow through, discipline, and respect. We use this chore chart in our family to help our kids keep track of their progress and keep you from constantly reminding them of their daily tasks.
If you’re looking for something simpler, this is also a good option.
Chore Chart Printable – Get it NOW from the convenience of your own printer.
If you’re looking for something you can print out immediately and start implementing chores in your home today, check out this CHORE CHART PRINTABLE. With a Mandalorian theme, it makes for a lighthearted and fun way to encourage kids to do their daily and weekly “missions.”
Emotional Connectivity with Your Kids
Connecting on a deeper level emotionally with your child is CRUCIAL and sometimes more difficult. We play THIS GAME often in our family to create a safe space for our kids to share their questions and emotions without judgment.
We even offer an “Exemption Time” for the duration of this game, where anything he tells us is off the table for consequences.
Check out these other posts on emotional connectivity on the blog!
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