Why You Should Ask Your Child for Forgiveness


I’ve had my share of meltdowns (mine, not the kids’) because things were not going my way. And, how often does it really go your way if you’re a mom? There will always be resistance no matter how old or how cute your kids are. But, there is a peaceful way to handle such situations. Sadly, I’ve sometimes opted for a different way.

So if you just went off on a screaming rampage as you ushered the kids to their rooms, how do you find yourself back into that sweet, loving relationship with them that you had just blogged about a few minutes ago?

It starts with you. You are the adult, so you ought to make the first step. Don’t let time heal the wounds. Don’t think that just because they have short attention spans that they will forget this incident. You need to go back to their rooms and ask each of them for forgiveness.* Why?

Because it is the first step in restoring your relationship.

Even if it began with your children’s disobedience, your wrong reactions to their behavior places a deeper wedge between you and them. I mean if you’re yelling at them, they are going to see you as unapproachable. And imagine how scary that must be, especially for a young child. All they want is to be able to hug Mommy again.

9/52 - Mom's Hug

Because you should model forgiveness.

Fights between my children happen all the time. Once I get the story straight, I instruct the offending party to go to the offended and ask for forgiveness. This is not about saying a flippant “sorry”. It requires humility, acknowledging what you did wrong and expressing a desire to make things right. Gulp! No wonder this isn’t easy for anyone!

Though you’re regretting your wrong actions towards your children, don’t waste the opportunity that you now have to model for your child how to right a wrong.

Because you’re not perfect.

My daughter would sometimes tell me that she gets frustrated at herself when she gets angry at her brothers. Instead of looking down at her disapprovingly, I can lovingly come alongside her and say, “I get frustrated too when I get angry. But I can ask God to forgive me and help me change.”

Kids will see you mess up … it’s inevitable. But, they will also see how you handle those mess-ups. For me, I want my children to know Mommy isn’t perfect and to know the God who is.

What have you done to resolve conflicts with your children?


* Please know that I write this from experience. I’ve been there, yelling at my kids and then facing the task of piecing together what my anger has torn apart. I’m not suggesting that all moms have reacted this way, but I would venture to say that every mom has, at least once, wronged her child in some way. I just don’t want you to feel like I’m calling you out on a specific offense that you have never committed.


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21 thoughts on “Why You Should Ask Your Child for Forgiveness

  1. Thanks for linking up again, Ai! I’ve been in this position so many times – humbly asking for my children’s forgiveness. They always give it. I pray all the time that they will have grace for me as adults too and that they will mostly remember the good things.

    This is such a good reminder to take the time to really apologize. I love it.

    1. I agree. Children are so quick to forgive, and they won’t hold grudges. Sometimes, my kids are the ones who will initiate, which is totally convicting for me. They truly are blessings from The Lord.

  2. That is so true Ai. It happenned to me when I was a new mom and everything looked out of control. I would always be so tired and frustrated and angry. And then guilt. I felt bad at being mad at everything because I was blessed with a lovely child and all I could do was to be mad. Now I try to control my behavior n mood and I feel much better.

    1. Yes, for me too! Being a new mom felt so overwhelming. Sometimes it’s necessary for us to fall down hard, so that we can look up and realize how blessed we are.

  3. This is great. Thank you for this. I need to ask for forgiveness a each and every day! Spending 24-7 with my boys, no camps this summer and I loose it on them more than I’d like! Arg!

    1. Me too! It’s a daily battle. People have told me to try to keep short accounts with others … deal with it quickly and make peace before a root of bitterness starts to set in.

  4. Such an important lesson for us moms. I too have sadly reached the point of anger and yelling at my children, but always try to quickly apologize and explain that what I did was wrong.

    My mom was the first to apologize growing up for anything she deemed she did wrong. She was such a great example to me and also completely approachable because of it. She showed me we all mess up, we all fall down, and yet we can all get back up again.

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

    1. I have similar memories of my parents. When they took the time to apologize, it assured me of their love for me. That was so important because when there’s so much anger expressed, doubts of their love entered my mind.

    1. In the beginning of my marriage, there were so many lessons for me on humility. After having kids, God revealed to me how much more I need to learn about it.

  5. I love this post. I have to admit that there are days that I feel like I’m losing my sanity and my daughter is only 5 months. Yesterday I raised my voice because she wouldn’t stop screaming at the top of her very loud infant lunch, and then I immediately wanted to cry and felt like the worst mother in the world. She just wanted to snuggle, and I hated myself for getting frustrated. This post makes me feel human about being a mom. It’s not always easy, I’m definitely not perfect but she is definitely helping me learn patience!

    1. Oh, I wanna give you a hug. You’re so not alone in this. And, you’re right, we are all learning valuable lessons on patience. Sometimes I think we are being taught so much more through our children than we are teaching them.

      1. I totally agree! My biggest weakness is lack of patience. I felt SO bad about losing my cool with her, and your blog post couldn’t have come at a better time. Last night she woke up at 3am crying and instead of getting frustrated, I just snuggled her to calm her down and enjoyed the fact that she just wants her mommy and that one day instead of running to me, she’ll be running out the door with her friends and I’ll miss the days of her wanting to be attached to me at all times! I seriously want to hug you back for this post! Thanks for making me feel normal and human, and less like a bad mom! ❤

  6. I love this. It is so important to model humility and forgiveness for our kids, not just in reminding them to do it but doing it ourselves, such a crucial and important thing as a parent. And you’re right, we all mess up and react out if anger or fear sometimes so it’s important to show both that we are human and make mistakes (and that’s ok) and then that we can apologize and ask forgiveness and do better next time. Great post!

    1. Thanks, Rachael! Today was one of those days I messed up. It’s always hard to be the one who has done the offending and going up to the person and ask them for forgiveness. But these kids, they really make it easy for us because they don’t hold grudges or give us the silent treatment. I want to say this long speech about how wrong I was and how I sinned against them and against God, and they’re hugging and kissing me before I can finish. They are sweethearts! Thanks for being in the trenches with me!

      1. Oh you’re so right and it’s such an amazing, humbling thing when it happens. Children teach us so much! I often find myself in moments where I say, “I don’t deserve this sweet gift” and wondering how they can love me so much. But I think our kids see our heart. They feel our love. They know that even when we mess up, we just love them,and that’s all they need to know. Because they love us too, no matter what! It’d be nice if it stayed that pure. I have to say I think this automatic forgiveness and unconditional love from kids is only really given when it is modeled for them and they have good parents. If they don’t feel loved, they’re not going to forgive, love and move on, know what I’m saying? So that means…you’re one of the good ones!

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