It’s Hard to Say Sorry … But You Have to Do It

Elton John and Peter Cetera know it, and several others have written songs, poems, and articles about it. It’s hard to say sorry. But when it comes to family communication and unity, it’s vital.

It starts by catching yourself and then saying, “I’m sorry for reacting that way.” The words “I’m sorry” are, unfortunately, not said enough by parents or between spouses. When we tell our spouse “I’m sorry” in front of our children, we teach a valuable lesson about respect. Monica and I have learned that when we use those two words, we send a positive message to our children and, at the same time, improve our relationship.

Why It’s So Hard to Say Sorry

“I’m sorry” is an admission that you are not perfect but that you are willing to try. Those simple words create an opportunity to replace our emotionally filled reaction with a rational response. When we tell our children “I”m sorry” for reacting rather than responding, we are reinforcing the importance of a thoughtful response and are building trust. We are also teaching them how to move from a reaction to a response.

Responding creates a positive culture of communication within the family, a culture built on trust. A culture of communication assures that our actions educate our children. Again, choose to respond rather than to react. It’s easier said than done, but it is possible.

Over time, you’ll find that responding rather than reacting becomes a habit. When you fail to respond, remember that a pause and an “I’m sorry” are helpful tools for getting back on track. It is an acknowledgment that you are not perfect but that you care enough to try.

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It’s hard to say sorry. But it doesn’t have to be. Click here and start building a culture of love, respect, and communication in your home.

Author: Dale W. Vernon
Dale, a business and investment advisor and professed imperfect father of three children, is co-author of How Imperfect Parents Lead Great Families. He is a frequent speaker about the importance of establishing family values, creating a culture of communication in your home and being an intentional parent that understands the importance of being the best example you can for your children.
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