A parent’s job is never done. Aside from the mountains of laundry, endless dishes, and shuttling to & from activities, there’s another endless task: teaching manners. Please and thank you are generally first. Followed by don’t interrupt and respect boundaries.
Table manners go from stay in your seat, to don’t play with your food, to no electronics allowed.
Difficult for kids and adults.
I’m sorry I’m late, but traffic was horrible.
I’m sorry your feelings were hurt, but I meant it as a joke.
I’m sorry I didn’t finish my homework, but my friend could only play now.
I’m sorry I didn’t call, but I lost track of time.
“Buts” are excuses.
Apologizes are acknowledgements.
Saying I’m sorry isn’t necessarily admitting you were wrong, but acknowledging that your words or actions (or lack there of) hurt someone else. My brother-in-law’s motto is “do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?”
If we run over someone’s foot with a grocery cart, we wouldn’t think twice about apologizing. And most likely we wouldn’t follow it up with…”but your foot was in my way.”
So why are hurt feelings any less important?
It’s an important lesson that comes with practice, and with time: teaching kids, and ourselves, to drop the “but.”
Mistakes happen. Words are misinterpreted. Apologies aren’t necessarily about blame, but acknowledging someone else’s feelings are important to you.
I’m sorry photo credit: tinybudda