I tell them, “I’m sorry I yelled at you. Mommy was upset, and even though you were doing wrong, I shouldn’t have yelled at you. “ Fortunately, our children are very loving and forgiving, and we end up hugging and saying “I love you.” Often at the end of the day I have felt guilty, and like I wasn’t a good mom after yelling at my kids like that. But I’m glad that it’s something I can make right, while also teaching them the importance of apologizing when they wrong others.
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I never thought of there being ANY positive influence in my negative behavior till something happened the other day. It showed me clearly that I HAD been teaching the children, though I really didn’t think of it that way.
My 5 year old daughter was folding diapers for me when my two-year-old decided that she wanted to help too. Due to the fact that her efforts weren’t too successful, my oldest yelled at her and told her to leave the diapers alone, and quit messing them up. I corrected her for talking unkindly to her sister, and explained that she needed to show her the right way to do it, rather than yell at her.
After I corrected her she went in the other room, and to my delight, I heard her say to her younger sister, “I’m sorry I yelled at you. I love you.”
I really SHOULD have told her to apologize, but I didn’t think to, and that’s why I was so excited! She went and apologized all on her own!
Even though I do wrong, my kids can learn from it if I admit my mistake (or sin). If they never heard me say “I’m sorry”, they’d probably never say it either.
I’m glad the Lord uses me in spite of my mistakes! Let’s not be too proud to say “I’m sorry” when we make mistakes with our kids.
(An excerpt from my book Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Best Mom of All?)