The key to teaching your teen how to apologize is a touch counterintuitive and might be a little bit challenging. So let me answer this question by first asking you a question. I want you to think about – don’t get mad at me for asking you this – when was the last time that you apologized to your kid?
Look, no parent is perfect. No human being is perfect. All of us are going to say something we don’t mean, do something stupid, promise something and not follow through. And think about – did you take responsibility, did you own up and apologize, or did you skate around it?
Regardless of what your answer to that is, I want to challenge you and help you to realize that ultimately your kid is going to learn how to apologize and take responsibility or how not to apologize and take responsibility from you. Meaning if you can go to them when you mess up and say – look, I’m a parent myself. I can go to my kid and say, honey I love you. I was frustrated. I shouldn’t have spoke to you that way. You don’t deserve it. I apologize. And I’m going to work toward making sure I don’t take out my bad day on you.
You see, kids learn a little bit from what we say. A little more from what we do. But they learn the most from who we are. And if they’re in an environment where kids and adults alike can be humble enough to say, I’m not perfect. I screw up. But guess what, when I do I’m going to take responsibility and try to make it better, then you will have a kid that – not always, but often – will take responsibility for their own mistakes.
So we probably all have something we could go and apologize to our kid about. So I would challenge you to go and do such.