Sorry Not Sorry- When Apologizing for Your Kid is Harmful (and when you should)

sorry gifCiao everybody! It’s good to be back on my main squeeze, the blog! I hope the Internet has been doing well, I know we have. But a lot has happened since I last wrote, let me explain!

**(If you rather just continue to today’s post, scroll down to the blue headline).

  • To quote Rihanna, “work,work,work,work,work.” If you follow me on Instagram (and you totally should so you can see all my behind-the-scenes pics), you know I’m a freelancer in the film/TV industry (Wardrobe Dept- holla!) and business has been kind of booming lately. And if you don’t know, in show biz 12 hours is considered a short day. Needless to say, when I’m on a job there’s not a ton of spare time to write, ya feel me?
  • Another super exciting thing that is happening is my absolute fav. MY BOOK, y’all! Any time I had to write, it went towards my very first novel. This book means so much to me as it’s about my own personal journey with love and marriage complete with some real notes and diary entries as a kiddo (remember when we called them diaries and not journals!?). Plus, I’ve spent a lot of time on this book like three years, maybe? So I’m happy to say it’s now in the hands of my trusty editor. This was a difficult thing to do because as an author, you never feel like it’s really finished. As the great da Vinci once wrote, “Art is never finished, only abandoned,” and I SOOOOO can attest to this. But at some point, I had to give it up, and for me that time was about two weeks ago. And with that, I will be preparing an official book launch and giving some copies away and all of that fun stuff. Be sure to *Subscribe to my mailing list* (on the right) so you can have the 411 about all of that.

I can (and will!) write an entire blog post about all of that but on to…

Today’s Post!

 

 

Kids are amazing little creatures, am I right? They’re in a constant state of exploration and boundary seeking. Watching their attempt to figure this whole thing out can be downright hilarious. But truly, I think they need some grace with that. Before you say that I’m this big softie that thinks kids have it too hard these days (I’m talking to you entitled teenager) or I don’t believe in discipline, think again. I’m VERY proud that my daughter has good manners and shows appreciation as much as any six-year-old can.  And I’ve (oops, I mean, WE’VE) worked hard to get her there.

But a recent trip to Trader Joe’s with those wonderful mini shopping carts (touch of sarcasm) for the kids to push got me thinking. As we ran around collecting our groceries I was meant with extreme impatience complete with eye rolling as we navigated the aisles together our carts side by side. Why should I apologize for her behaving like a kid? She’s a person! And because I love lists I’m going to make two: The first, things I’m not apologizing for anymore. And the other, things that are totally deserving of an apology:

Things I’m Not Apologizing for Anymore

  1. If my kid is in your way and she hasn’t a clue. Please don’t give me that annoyed glare. It’s my job to make her aware, sure, but she doesn’t have eyes in the back of her head (this has been my experience in crowded places). Since the age of two or three, she understands what the words “excuse me” mean. Tell her you need to get by and she’ll oblige, I swear. By me swooping in to your rescue, I’m taking an opportunity away from her to learn how to interact in society. Thanks for your patience with that. It really does take a village.
  2. If my kid doesn’t want to hug you, that’s okay with me. It sucks that we’re leaving your house after a nice visit and it has to end like this (hang in there parents of toddlers, it gets better!). But sometimes, she’s not ready to go and is sad the party is over. Other times, she’s simply exhausted from all the fun and other times she’s being a whiny-butt. Whatever the case, it doesn’t mean she’s ungrateful for the time we just shared. And suggesting its poor parenting for not pushing my kid past her own personal space boundaries (that she’s entitled to!) is a bad idea. We’re telling them, “It doesn’t matter if you’re against it, get close anyway.” By not honoring their feelings, we tell them they aren’t relevant. Sorry not sorry. I’ll try to ask if she rather give you a fist pump or blow you a kiss.  Thanks for understanding.
  3. Our food choices. We’re a family that enjoys going to the gym and eating healthy. Don’t make me apologize for turning down Hawaiian Punch. Just ask to make sure she can eat it.
  4. For being a parent to my child. If I have to excuse myself to put my kid to bed, calm a tantrum (which is also not worthy of an apology) or make sure she is well-fed (see #3), I don’t want to be sorry about that.  Sometimes she will want to interrupt my conversations to interject her own opinion. If she says excuse me and does it the proper way, which I (WE -dammit!) try hard to make sure of, then we’ll have to listen about her latest playground escapade. I certainly adore my Adulting Time but I can’t turn off being a parent. If she sees me, its fair game.
  5. Breastfeeding. Do I have to go in the bathroom? Do I have to make sure I’m covering my baby up to my neck? Do you really want me to make my baby uncomfortable and hot? I’m certainly not doing that with my next one. You know what I’m sorry about? That I did that with my first.

 

Times When I Totally Should Apologize

  1. If my kid is disrespectful to you with her words, body language, tone or choices. I try to make sure this doesn’t happen and teach her better but sometimes we all have that occasional off day. And after a certain age, she can (and should) apologize on her own behalf, too.
  2. If I put my kid in an adult situation and they act like a kid. My bad. Perhaps I really wanted to try a new restaurant that isn’t exactly kid-friendly and my child doesn’t know the difference. It’s not my kid’s fault, it’s mine. It was worth a shot (This does NOT include airplanes, just FYI).
  3. If my kid hits. Look, this is something that is going to happen. Kids cannot articulate what they want, need, or is bothersome. Hitting is easier but it doesn’t make it right. I will definitely work on correcting her.

Parenting isn’t for punks. Behaviors take a while to correct so patience is key in dealing with your own kids but also other people’s kids as well. And that’s okay. This doesn’t mean that we’re bad parents nor does it mean we should judge each other based off of our child’s actions. Let’s just go easy on parents, we’re all just wingin’ it.

Did I miss anything, what would you add to these lists?

 

 

 

About Rana Mancini Cavanaugh

Rana is a Chic Mama dedicated to helping other Mama's live a fuller, happier, healthier life through this blog. She is proud to announce she just finished an eBook on how to travel with kids and is finishing up her first novel. She is a happy wife to her sweetheart since the fourth grade and Mama to a lovely little girl. Happy Travels! xo

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