Friday, September 26, 2008

Apologizing for Our Kids Behavior

Why do we moms apologize for our kids behavior? I've been paying attention lately as to how often moms apologize for their kids choices. Let me tell you moms it's a lot of the time!

I am not void from this I do it too! Is it because we feel responsible? Why?? Should we be able to control every little thing they do? Doesn't that sound ludicrous?! Like we can control a two year old! Do we think that if we apologize for our kids behavior it will make the other person think we aren't a bad parent? I'm very curious about this whole thing. I just find it fascinating b/c honestly I don't know a mommy in my realm of moms who doesn't apologize for their childs unwise (unwise= subjective; it's dependent on the context) choices.

Is it ever necessary to apologize for our kids choices though? I know I have been in situations where my kid has spilled a drink on someone else's couch or floor and I felt the need to apologize because I should've suggested they move into a more drink friendly environment or assisted them or something. But other then when others property is dirtied or damaged, is it necessary to apologize for our kids choices?

What if we don't apologize for their behavior? Do we risk the possibility of others thinking we are a bad parent? Does it matter if others think we are a bad parent?

What are we teaching our kid(s) if we apologize for all their "unwise" choices? What would we teach our kid(s) if we don't apologize for their "unwise" choices?

I'm really interested in what others think on this topic.


Amanda C. said...

This is a really interesting topic. I'm trying to think of a time recently when I apologized for what V's done. I'm sure it had to do with him pushing a kid or taking a toy away. I think that maybe we apologize for our kids, at least our young children, because they can't verbalize it themselves, and maybe, it's a way for us to show them some empathy and manners towards others. I know that I don't apologize to others when V's having a screaming tantrum in a store. He's not hurting anyone (except maybe their ears), and I guess I feel he's just being a 2-year-old. I try to ignore it, so he understands he can't get his way by screaming for what he wants. Other than that, I think I apologize for him when he's hurting someone or destroying something that isn't his. It's a good way for him to learn to be responsible for his actions. You're right, though. It can be a habit that we mommies get into sometimes when we start apologizing for every little thing. Definitely something to think about!

Glass of Whine said...

I agree with Amanda. I think that apologizing makes the child realize that they need to be responsible for their choices. Even if it is mommy apologizing, it helps the child learn to become a responsible, empathetic person. I asked my pediatrician about how much they remember when they are two, and this is what he said: "they don't remember a ton from day to day, but you are laying a foundation for further actions and they will remember patterns and start understanding right from wrong." That really helped me. I think in the passed two days I have had P apologize to another child 3 or 4 times. Not fun - but she is learning! And, I don't want others to think that I or she doesn't care about the person she offended in one way or another.