Apologizing to your kids...

This morning was bad. My kids were at each other, intentionally antagonizing the other.. just being rotten... My son was in a "mood".. and not handling his little sister the way I teach him to.. She wasn't helping.. she was looking for ways to get under his skin... Ugh..

They're at the age where I mediate lightly.. I'll step in where I feel it's needed and usually stop it. But they kept going and I know that this is normal for siblings and they need to work it out for the most part and usually the do.. But my daughter pushed him too far and my son got up and pushed her down on the couch, and again when she got up to fight back.. I stepped in, enough I said.. knock it off, but then she hit him and he hit her and the next thing I know they're brawling.

I don't allow hitting of any kind in my home... and I know there is a normal amount that's going to happen and they were just sort of smacking each other, no big deal, but then my daughter got him good.. in his goods and he slapped her... harder than before ...

I lost it... I yelled at them both and sent my sister to her room and my son, who has our irish temper was huffing and puffing, clearly pissed and hurt.. I sat him on the couch to talk to him but he was too angry to listen and kept talking.. so I grabbed his face, hard and made him look at me... he of course, screamed OW! Shit. So, now instead of dealing the the matter at hand, we were now having a conversation that I hurt him and that I grabbed him too hard ... UGH...

The moment calmed, we left for school, both left angry, and sad and my son had a look on his face as though I betrayed him somehow... Did I? DiD I grab him too hard?

Back in the day.. no kids would ever question how a parent handled them... Most of my friends, my kids dad included were smacked or spanked or had to "pick a switch" for a punishment.. but I don't do that in my home. Never have. Never will.. But my son challenging me.. like I was wrong pissed ME off... but he was right ...

The morning was ruined.. I had that sick feeling in my gut for hours.. I couldn't wait to talk to him, to explain to him that I didn't hit him and that part of me thought even if I DID,... he's lucky I don't regularly... But that's not what calmed me.. I hated the feeling.. I hated knowing he was at school carrying that awful feeling...

So I drove there. I took him out of class for 5 minutes and talked to him... At first I wanted to defend myself.. but I couldn't... the one thing I said I would never do is hurt him on purpose and I did that. Whether or not he was "right".. that's what he thought and I had to respect that. I did grab his face too hard, in anger.. was there a mark? no. Was it even red? NO... But he deserved an apology.

I told him that hitting or grabbing aggressively is NEVER acceptable in our home and what I meant to do was get his attention and that I was sorry if I scared him or grabbed him too hard. I reminded him that I'm human and that I too will lose my cool. I reminded him that apologies don't fix anything but they show that I care and I respect his side of the story... I'm not perfect. I'll make mistakes and lose my temper, but I will never hurt him on purpose.. I may grab him again... But I'll try hard as I ask of him to breathe and walk away... Then I asked him if he knew how much he meant to me and he paused and then said, "yeah.. I guess since you came down here and pulled me out of class, you wanted to tell me that so yes... " and then he apologized too.. and we hugged it out.

I don't know.. Maybe I didn't do anything that I needed to apologize for.. not physically anyway.. but I hurt my sons feelings and trust for a minute.. and I wanted him to know that I value those things from him...I may not be perfect, but I will continue to hold myself up to higher standards daily... as I will him too...

I'm glad I went there.. I'm glad I didnt wait until after school or bedtime.. He knows now.. that hes on my mind every second of the day and I'll do anything to make sure he knows that... Today, he's sure of it.​

Moms Expertise
    8Theresa Gould
    I think it spoke volumes to your son that you went to the school, pulled him out of class and apologized.

    I think as parents we do need to apologize, even if we haven't done anything necessarily wrong in our own eyes, sometimes children are offended by little things and those little misunderstandings can grow into bigger issues. Better to nip them in the bud while small, and teach our children to do likewise.
    About Jessica
    Born: Novato, California
    Current: Sherman Oaks, California
    Birth: May 28
    On Moms.com since: Aug 5, 2013
    We live in Los Angeles, CA. I'm a writer, comedian, actor and single mom of two. Parenting is hard. I try to keep a sense of humor about it all and find the find the funny... in what is most likely NOT funny (i.e. boogers, meltdowns, homework, etc.).