Sometimes, it’s best to say the words “I’m sorry.”
It’s amazing how telling someone you’re sorry really can make a huge impact on how the situation is handled. It can diffuse the issue and put it to rest.
Take my recent incident with my daughter. Last weekend, she did something I wasn’t pleased with. It wasn’t anything major, but she broke a family rule.
She’s only been driving for about four months. Because of this, we require her to let us know where she’s going and when she arrives. I don’t want her driving all over the city, and this way we can give her a little freedom while trying to keep her safe. So far so good.
There’s an APP you can download onto your phone called Find Friends. It’s a parent’s dream. Basically, it can show you where anyone is, as long as they have their phone with them, and as long as they’ve given you permission to track them on your phone. If you’re a parent and haven’t put this on your phone, I don’t know what you’re waiting for. Do it today.
This past weekend, I was at home, didn’t realize how late it had gotten, and didn’t know where Zoe was. I hadn’t heard from her in several hours and I lost track of time. Instead of texting her, in case she was driving home, I simply looked at the APP on my phone.
That’s when I saw she was somewhere she shouldn’t have been. I admit, I was a little upset about this, and called her.
“Where are you?” I asked her. I knew where she was, and she knew that I knew where she was. She knows I have the APP.
We talked about it, and I told her to come home immediately. I needed time to think about a good punishment.
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“I’m sorry,” she said, “You’re right, and I was wrong. I’ll come home now.”
We got off the phone, and twenty minutes later, Zoe walked through the door. I could tell she was upset and understood she was in trouble.
“We need to talk,” I said.
“I’m sorry,” she said again, “I know I messed up.”
There it was again. She apologized. She owned the mistake. Who was this mature person? We talked it through, and after a good conversation that didn’t include any tears, yelling, or stomping away, I told her she couldn’t drive for a week.
“I deserve that,” she said, “I’m sorry, and that’s a fair punishment.”
We hugged and she walked away, but again I wondered who she was and where my daughter had gone. Instead of getting into a huge argument, simply telling me she was sorry and owning up to the mistake had a positive impact on the situation.
I was very proud of her.
While I wasn’t happy she broke a rule, the way she handled it was great. “Mom, you know this means you’re going to have to drive me to school,” she said, “and you aren’t going to be happy about that.”
“You’re right,” I said, “but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.”
She smiled at me, and we moved on.
Sunday night, when we were planning the week, Zoe looked me straight in the eye, and said to me, “By the way, I need to be at school really early each day this week. I’m sorry about that. Too bad I can’t drive myself.
She said it with a smirk, and I knew she really wasn’t sorry at all. My girl was back.
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