Photo by Maxime Bhm on Unsplash


“Mooooommmmm…he doesn’t mean it, he’s not sorry!”

Sound familiar?

Admitting wrong, showing remorse, being sorry, asking for forgiveness, accepting an apology,  and giving and granting forgiveness are all in the same soft skill wheelhouse.

We feel angry or annoyed (sometimes even shamed)  by those who consistently dole out blame.

We appreciate people who can admit wrong and take responsibility.

Humility and responsibility are the qualities we must foster in our kids if we want them to be strong enough to admit it when they are wrong.

The way to take the sting out of being wrong is to model our own weakness, take responsibility for our own mistakes, embrace our own imperfection, and allow people to be human.

If we have a home where it’s OK to make mistakes, we will have a home that is filled with mercy and grace.

Without understanding what it means to be wrong and wronged, forgive and be forgiven, we can never fully grasp grace.

Here are 5 steps to develop mercy and grace in our kids:

1. Ask their part in what occurred.

2. Encourage empathy by putting themselves in another’s shoes.

3. Check to see if the other person is OK. Follow up by asking, “How can I make it better?”

4. When apologized to… accept the apology without rehashing the “thing.”

5. Restore the relationship. (Note: this does not apply to abusive situations.)

Grace, mercy, and forgiveness are intertwined.

Forgiveness pardons the offense.

Mercy is not getting what is deserved for our actions or attitudes.

Grace gives us what we don’t deserve in light of the offense.

This is article number 9 in a series of blogs on Emotional Quotient and People Skills. Here are the previous posts:

How to Have a Wise Kid (#4) 

10 Questions to Evaluate Emotional Safety in Your Home (#5)

How to Increase Your Child’s Resiliency (#6)

10 Questions to Assess Your Child’s People Skills (#7)

Have you ever heard this from your kids?  (#8)

© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.

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