Accidents and Anger
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An older child may even offer to pay for or replace the broken item. Your first inclination might be to say no. However, allowing your child to give you a symbolic amount of money or to replace the object (even imperfectly) offers her the chance to practice the skills of empathy and apology in a meaningful way, and lets her feel she has done something to earn your forgiveness. To this end, it is important to forgive your child immediately when he apologizes to you. Holding a grudge is not emotionally healthy for either of you; it makes you angry, and it causes your child guilt. What’s more, forgiveness is one of the most important life lessons you can teach your child. Love can’t exist without forgiveness.
DR. SUSAN BARTELL is a nationally recognized child, teen and parenting psychologist and award-winning author. Her latest book is Healthy Kids The Easy Way. You can learn more about Dr. Bartell at www.drsusanbartell.com.