Monkey see monkey do. Modeling behavior may be more impactful than correcting it.
Although teaching a child to be accountable is important, modeling accountability may be more effective. Selfish moments and mistakes are inevitable when parenting. Yet, replacing justifications for a parental error with a sincere and simple I’m sorry may help ingrain accountability in the child.
This seems so basic, but it’s difficult for a few reasons.
First, parents work their fingers to the bone most days in an effort to provide for their child and give the child opportunities that may not have been afforded to them. The amount of sacrifice a parent endures for the sake of their child is incredible. Yet, often this prevents a parent from delivering an authentic apology when the moment arises. After all, it is one small mistake in the midst of a million sacrifices, right? It’s excusable. And it is, but it’s also a chance to model ownership instead of excuses.