The best way to teach children empathy and mending relationships is to model it ourselves. As parents we are definitely going to make mistakes, that is guaranteed. Trying to mend our relationship with our child when we make mistakes is actually the best way that we can teach our children how to do this for themselves. It can be hard as parents to own up to our mistakes without sharing the blame. It can be very tempting to say "I'm sorry but you shouldn't....." If we model taking ownership of our behaviour our kids will see how it is done and what it is like to forgive. If we get caught up in the controversy about saying the words "I'm sorry" we miss the point. What we really want is for our children to become empathetic and understand that when we hurt others we need to mend the relationship. This is a far more important lesson than mindlessly saying "I'm sorry".
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