There are mistakes that you know you can someday look back and laugh at, but this by no means is one of those. I never see myself looking back and saying, oh yeah that was funny when you think about it. Okay, so what was that mistake? I told my son to stop apologizing to me. It wasn’t one of those you-made-a-mistake-and-I-know-you-didn’t-mean-it-and-I-accept-your-apology-for-this-single-isolated-incident type of stop apologizing, but a don’t-apologize-to-me-period one. I know. You’re probably saying well duh, didn’t you know better? It’s a bit more complicated. My children get attitudes with me for no good reason (You’re probably still saying duh, they do that!). I mean they clearly know that I’m right and will admit that if I ask and try to get them to show me what I did wrong, but they have a bit of a hard time swallowing their pride. Sometimes it’s beating up on a sibling. Another thing that’s constantly happening around here. If I say anything, well I get attitude. So I guess the problem simply boils down to the attitude. It disturbs me because despite knowing they’ve done wrong, they’ll fester in their anger until they feel better and THEN I get an apology.
Now that I think about it, it can be really hard to humble yourself to an apology. But it’d gotten to the point where it started to seem kinda mechanical. I didn’t see where I’d messed up so badly until I got frustrated when I didn’t get an apology that I thought was owed to me. My son reminded me that I’d told him to stop apologizing. I do think that this caused him to keep everything bottled up inside and even made him a bit angrier. I failed to realize how much of a release apologizing was offering, although they were coming frequently. I “allowed” him to start apologizing again, but I fear that he’ll always think somewhere in the back of his mind that I don’t really believe him.
Guess I should have taken a lesson from the Bible quite literally; if your brother (son in my case) sins against you seventy times seven, forgive him. Now I’m hoping the damage isn’t permanent. Lesson learned.