EP27 – Do You Say “I’m Sorry”?
When kids do the wrong thing, we expect them to apologize. But apologies are a learned response. What are you modeling?
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Welcome to this episode of, I don't know Jack about parenting where today I'm going to talk about being sorry, and as a parent saying sorry to your kids because we're imperfect and we hurt their feelings too.
I shared with you the day
Hey, welcome back to this episode of I don't know Jack about parenting where today I'm going to talk about being sorry, because sometimes as kids they hurt our feelings as parents, right? And, and, and they are going to have to say, I'm sorry a but more importantly. They have to learn that behavior from their parents. So I want to just jump right into it today and just share with you a story. If you listened to last episode or yesterday's episode, in the life of, or a week in the life of and, and just playing dodgeball with life, right? So many things coming at us and we have to throw back and, and we're just dodging and weaving. Uh, and we just had a hectic week in this household. If you listened to yesterday and if you did not listen to yesterday, my wife came home sick last night.
I had a late night cleaning up some work before I'm going off on a, on a day trip. And uh, so I went to bed about 1:00 in the morning. I get up at 5:00. Routine, routine, routine. I don't know that I've even done a podcast about routine, but it's so important to the development of kids again. And yesterday's, we talked about night routine, but we have a morning routine in this house that is pretty spot on it. It goes something like this. My wife has an early morning riser, but she also goes to bed early. She typically is up at 5:00 AM because that's when our, a 16 month old gets up, she goes down, she has her coffee, she uh, know, gets the baby going. He has his milk, a diaper change, probably getting ready for, uh, for him to go off to daycare.
I'm putting the baby in the car
So he is almost ready by the time I get up. It's my job to get out of bed by 6:00 AM a at 6:30 and I play with him while she's getting ready. I also wake up our seven year old. I get him ready, get him fed breakfast and at 6:55 he's off to school usually at that point, uh, at 6:50 I'm putting the baby in the car for my wife as she has her laptop and her bags. Right. I bring the baby down to the garage. She gets ready at that point we transition, I bring my son over to the bus stop and this is like a well oiled machine, like down to the minute. What happens in our household? Well this morning the wife is not feeling well. She did not sleep well. So guess what routine gets thrown off, thrown off. I was up late last night.
What happens when you are thrown off your routine? Um, she at 5:00 said, you hear the baby? I said yes. She said, can you get up? I didn't sleep well and I still don't feel well. Fantastic. I will get up. Uh, I get the baby. I do her normal routine, the routine as best I know how my seven year old gets up. He is a ready to, you know, he's like, Hey, I don't want to miss the bus because the day before I didn't even include that in yesterday's episode. That's how we started the day yesterday. I'm wife couldn't find her keys. She's running around. I'm trying to help her in that process. Um, when we finally got her keys, she's backing out of the garage and the bus is pulling away.
I'm thrown off my routine
Uh, so my son missed the bus. I forgot to throw that in the mix with yesterday's a day in the week. So what do I have to do? I have to get in the car and get them to school. Um, so this morning as I am getting the kids ready and she's not feeling well and, and, and I'm, I'm just getting them ready, but like I'm thrown off my routine, I'm on four hours of sleep and I also had to go over spelling words with my seven year old. There's not his favorite thing to do right first thing in the morning, but we used to have a routine before he used to catch the bus that we would do it in the car on the driveway, on the drive to school and we would do it three or three, four, sometimes five times during the week. And that was plenty for him to get his practice in a. We had done it multiple times. He was killing it. He was doing great. He's killing all of his, his, his spelling words.
But I wanted one more round, one more practice round. If you got it, you got it. So this should be quick and he's giving me push back. Mind you, I got the baby. The wife isn't even sure whether she's going to work. I'm trying to fit in his spelling words before he gets off to the bus. We don't want to miss the bus. His main concern. I don't want to miss the bus again. It's just crazy. So I say to him, I was like, listen, we have to do the spelling words if I have to drive you to school because you missed the bus because we're, we're discussing this instead of just doing it, then I'm going to drive you. My concern is not whether how you're getting to school. My concern is whether or not you're prepared for your test today. And he goes, just frustrated like, I don't want to do this and you know, I get frustrated.
Can we skip the huffing and puffing
I say, listen, you're going to have to do this whether you like it or not. And we've had the discussion around and, and when things were come, like, listen, you can fight me on the things that you need to do. You could huff and puff and blow the house down, but you're still going to end up doing it. Can we skip the huffing and puffing and blowing the house down because daddy's still gonna it's my job to tell them it's my job to make sure your prepared at school. If I don't do my job, then you can't do your job and your job is to do well at school.
So allow me to do my job and I don't know exactly what I said, but I did lay into him a little bit, uh, to the point where he was doing his spelling words almost in tears. We got about four words in the for difficult words. He was having challenges with. He did. Um, he did them right. And I say, come here. He goes, I spelled it right. Whatever the word was. I said, I know you spelled it right and you did an excellent job doing it. I need you to come here.
And he comes over to me and his, his eyes are welled up with tears. So what are you thinking? He says, when you talk to me like that, I feel like a failure as a parent. It pains me to know that I made my son feel a certain way.
You're the opposite of a failure
I acknowledged him and I thanked him for sharing that with me. Then I made him look me in the eyes with his eyes welled up and he doesn't want to look at me because he feels bad. I said, I'm going to look at you right now. I don't want to tell you you are not a failure. As a matter of fact, you're the opposite of a failure. You're an amazing kid in daddy loves you so much and I never want to make you feel like a failure.
Let me ask you a question. Has Daddy ever told you you're a failure? He says, no. I said, but I'm sorry because your feelings are valid. I'm sorry that I made you feel like a failure because you're not. At the same time, I want you to understand that I have to do these things. Sometimes I have to be hard on you if you're pushing back. Sometimes I have to and I know what I told them. I said, if you can't do the things that I need you to do, I can't allow you to do the things that you'd like to do.
I know you're a smart kid
I can't allow you to play an hour of video games in the afternoon. If you won't give me five minutes in the morning of you doing your job, I can't do that. I'm going to have to substitute it with you doing your work when you want to play. I fit these things in because I know you're a smart kid and you can handle this and you need a you. You could do the prep in five minutes in the morning, you know, five times, but if you're going to push back, there's going to have to be some consequences for that and I didn't say it that nicely and I'll be on honest and transparent.
I wasn't that nice about it because I was frustrated that he was giving me push back and he says, I feel like a failure, so I let him know he's not a failure. I let him know that I loved him. I let him know that he just completed the four words that were giving him problems if there was any problem, and he got them all right, so we weren't going to have to continue doing the spelling words because I knew that he was capable and he was going to do extremely well today on his test and then I loved them. I said, is there anything you want to say to me? He says, I love you too, dad. I said, are we okay? He said, yes.
It hurts daddy's feelings
I don't know that I even said. I said, I just need you to know that I'm sorry. I don't want to hurt your feelings, but I also want you to know it hurts daddy's feelings when he asked you to do something or asks you to do something and you don't want to do it when I don't think I asked a lot of you and allow you a lot of leniency, but the reason I give you a lot of leniency is because you're a good kid, so I never want to make you feel like a failure.
See, at the end of the day, there are times that he doesn't want to say I'm sorry, but if I say I'm sorry in I tell them I love them and I tell him that he's amazing and that he is a great kid. He's going to believe those things, but it doesn't negate the fact, and I said this to him. His feelings are valid. I can't tell you not to feel that way, but I'm sorry that I'm the one that made you feel that way. I don't ever want to do that and I want you to know daddy believes in you and you are not a failure. I'm sorry.
I feel like a failure
They're humbling words because as adults we think, oh, you know what? I'm the adult. I'm the parent. They should listen to me. Here's the deal. We need to listen to them. His body language, his eyes welling up, his frustration. I love, love, love the fact that he was able to say it. No, he's in a safe place. I feel like a failure because if I don't ask the question, if I don't read the signs, if I don't step back and evaluate what I did, if you as a parent, don't step back and evaluate what you do and say, how did I just affect this child who's welling up in tears? Going through his spelling words and just pause.
What was more important? The conversation or the spelling words, the conversation, and when I stepped back and ask the right question, what are you feeling right now? I feel like a failure. See if I were to guess he's upset. I. If I were to guess I would have thought he was upset because I told him he wouldn't get his video games as much, but when I asked him the question, this is what this is all about is what this parenting thing is all about. Asking the right questions so that we can respond appropriately and then if we hurt feelings or we did something, being able to apologize for it.
So there's this episode. We'll see you in the next episode of, I don't know, Jack about parenting guys. This is my struggle. I believe you're listening to this podcast. You love your children. I love my children, but I know I say it all the time. I'm going to mess them up somehow and somehow maybe today or another conversation is going to scar them for life and he's going to come back and say, remember when I was seven and you said x, Y, z? And I'll say, no. He goes, that really hurt me. I hope that I deal with those situations as they come along and he continues to know that he's loved. We'll see you in the next episode.
About the Author
Ryan Roy is the father of two boys and on a mission to be the dad he wished he had... and to help other fathers be the best they can be too.
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