Confess wrongdoing – Apologize – Ask for forgivenessWe sat him down and explained what we felt he did wrong with his friend that afternoon. Our biggest goal in this conversation was to help him empathize. As we explained how it must have felt for his friend, his heart began to break and tears began to fall down his sweet, little face. Both my husband and I were pleased to see that his little heart was growing tender for his friend. But we took it one step further. We had him write an apology letter to his friend. It said:
I’m sorry I called you names. Please fergiv.As he walked across the street to deliver this letter, he was crying. He was embarrassed and didn’t know what his friend would think about him. He certainly didn’t want him to laugh at him for crying. So he wiped his face, rang the doorbell and gave the note to his friend. The next day they were playing together. If you want to create a responsible adult, I believe that one of the most important ways to accomplish this is to make the individual accept responsibility for his/her actions. Too many people in our society live in the victim mindset that says, “It’s not my fault”. My husband and I have no desire to see our sons fall into that trap so we started with them very young. I don’t know about you but it absolutely drives me crazy when I hear a “sorry” as someone is rolling his/her eyes at me. Hello? Are you really sorry? Or are you sorry you got busted? That’s what I thought. I believe there is a huge difference in feeling sorrow because you got caught and having a broken spirit. To feel sorrow over being caught is a reaction to someone’s actions and may not have ever appeared had the person not been exposed. When a person is truly broken over his/her sin, oftentimes it happens whether the person was caught or not. My two cents? Take responsibility for your actions and mean it when you apologize. Don’t make excuses for why you did something. If you’re wrong, admit it, learn from it and move on. If you are a parent, take every opportunity you have to instill character in your children. You and I have limited time on this earth to help our children be responsible, healthy individuals. There’s too much at stake. We can’t let them down.