Lessons in Forgiveness

As a parent, I always think I’m the one who is supposed to be the teacher in my household. The other day, I was reminded that my children can teach me just as much, if not more sometimes, than I can teach them.

The other morning was less than delightful in our home. We were experiencing a typical tantrum over the frustrations of getting dressed. It was silly, really! But I realize looking back that while I might have thought it was silly, for my child, it was huge. I get so wrapped up in trying to teach them what matters and what doesn’t in the grand scheme of things, that I forget they don’t always see beyond each moment. Maybe they’re better at living in the moment than I am? Maybe sometimes I need to stop and realize that for them, this is a defining moment. The moment they need to be given the help they are asking for, or shown the compassion and empathy they are seeking, rather than being told “it’s fine,” or “just let it go and move on.”

Looking back at the tantrum, I wished I hadn’t tried to use it as a teaching moment, teaching patience or perseverance through struggle. I wished I had just shown my daughter that I am there for her and if my children ask for help, I’ll come if I can.

Later in the afternoon, while driving home from school, I pointed out some of the ways the tantrum had affected the whole family. As I was making the comment, I began to wonder what my point was in sharing this information and again, wished I had just let this tantrum go. When we got home, my daughter handed me a handwritten note. The note said, “We are sorry about what happened this morning. Can you please forgive?” As I held back the tears, I thanked her for the note and asked her to forgive me too. I couldn’t believe the power of seeing that apology on paper. I was taken aback at how it impacted me so much more than a verbal apology. On top of that, she wasn’t asked to say she was sorry, she wrote this letter on her own accord.

So, I’m left learning the power of forgiveness from my daughter. I’m left with the impression on my heart of the impact of a hand-written apology note. I’m going to take this lesson as a teaching moment for myself and remember this as an option next time I need to ask someone for forgiveness.

What are some lessons your children have taught you? 

Copyright 2019 Courtney Vallejo All Rights Reserved

Image Credit Copyright 2019 Courtney Vallejo. All Rights Reserved

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