This week in class we were working on the idea that sometimes we say things for which we need to apologize, and that it’s important to learn how to say “I’m sorry.”

After class, Luke came up to me and related this story:

Last night after my 15-year-old son’s soccer game, I told him that he wasn’t any good at playing goalie in soccer and perhaps he ought to give it up. While driving home, he found an opportunity to pay me back by telling me that I was a stupid driver. It wasn’t a good night.

So, on the last break, I sent a text to my son apologizing and then letting him know that not only was he good at soccer, I thought he could be awesome. 

His text came back: Thanks, Dad. I think you are a good driver too!  🙂

Luke’s story reminded me of how I raised Jesse and Amy. I would sometimes say things to them that I didn’t mean and for which I did not apologize. Even though I knew I should, I would tell myself they knew I didn’t mean it.

Even if they did, it doesn’t matter. Actions don’t always speak louder than words. Saying “I’m sorry” is very powerful.

I think this is one way that texting can be useful. Many of us may be able to apologize in a text when we might be too uncomfortable to say “I’m sorry” face-to-face. And if texting helps get the practice of apologizing in place, eventually we will be able to say it in person.

“In the end, it doesn’t really matter why we say these things. The only thing that matters is noticing that we do and choosing to do it differently.”

Something to think about…

Keep in mind, everyone is a little bit scared and a whole lot proud—be gentle out there.

Is there anything that happened recently for which you might need to apologize?

        — from page 108 of Ten Powerful Things to Say to Your Kids