Power of Apologizes

November 29, 2017

It's just two little words, but they mean so much! To hear those letters of the alphabet come together to form an expression that can mend a broken heart is amazing. They are definitely easier to hear than to say.


I have two boys. Two very different boys. Not only are they five years apart in age, but their personalities are equally distant. And any parent will attest to the fact that although they are made the same way and come out the same place, no two children are alike.


My youngest, Gavin, has been keeping us on our toes . . . and on our knees . . . for years. His charismatic charm fills our home with laughter and his nonstop chatter fills our car with noise. Ha! He is self-motivated, giving, athletic, studious and oh so strong-willed.  At times, it seems we live with a mini-version of Jekyll and Hyde.  


He gets angry at times as all humans do, but he is still learning how to deal with that frustration and disappointment.  He flares up quickly and reaches a point where I sometimes am left in tears because nothing works to calm him down.  The littlest thing can set him off and then all hell breaks loose. Just last week, he got upset when I asked him to watch me make his breakfast so he could prepare it next time. He apparently wanted his mom to do all the work - all the time until he grew into a man at which point it would be embarrassing for his mommy to cut and butter his muffin.  That meltdown led to grounding from technology indefinitely until behaviors consistently changed.  


Thankfully these outbursts mainly happen at home. In his safe place where he feels free enough to be completely himself. So, I can't complain as I know some parents struggle with poor behavior at school and generally in public. I do get attitude and talking-back in public, but the physical reactions are contained at home.


Many times what helps our little angel come back down to earth and calm down is time. Gavin eventually comes to us with a verbal apology. And the icing on the cake is when we get apology drawings and letters (like the one above). Although the brightly colored drawings bring a smile to my face after a tantrum, what means the most to me is to hear those two little words from my son.  "I'm sorry."


To verbally apologize for one's wrongdoing takes a lot of courage and humility. It's not something that even adults do well thus even more the reason to enforce it and be a good example of it in my own household. Apologizes break down walls. They stunt the growth of frustration. They cool the burn that hate leaves. And they lessen the sting of disappointment.



"I'm sorry" doesn't mean "I forget." It's simply the first step on a road to recovery and an acknowledgement that we can do better.  There is power in words so don't forget to use these significantly impactful ones next time you make a bad choice.


No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. But, each of us have the choice to use our power to make things better. Let's start with "I'm sorry."

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