Most of us as parents have had funny apologies from kids.
I have a friend named Bruce who is hilarious himself. He’s always posting on Facebook. I featured him in a column a while ago on dating your spouse. My daughter used to baby-sit for him.
And everyone in our small town knows him because his Facebook posts are often hilarious. So when I saw this last week, I couldn’t stop laughing.
His 6-year-old daughter apparently figured out how to purchase things from iTunes on his account, and she purchased something called “the doll house”. This was AFTER she’d already been reprimanded for purchasing credits for Pet Store. So she presented her mother with this:
“I cant controle my Body.”
There’s wisdom in that 6-year-old!
I love it. Kids have so little impulse control, and as parents one of the things we need to teach them is to own up when they do something wrong. My friends made her make restitution and write this apology note, and she obviously “got” it.
While kids have little impulse control, though, they can have very sensitive consciences.
I remember when Katie, my youngest, was 6, and we walked into a craft store looking for something. In a basket on the floor of the store were tons of tiny paper flowers that are used to glue onto wreaths. Katie took one look at them and thought, “wedding bouquets for Barbies!”
So she reached down and grabbed them all and stuffed them in her boots.
I had no idea.
That night, about 45 minutes after we put the girls to bed, she came clutching her blankie and crying into my room and climbed up onto my lap. “I stole something,” she told me. And she presented me with 6 little flower bouquets.
The next day, first thing, we drove to the store and returned them and Katie handed over the little cash she had in her piggy bank.
That night, she came into my room again, crying harder this time. “I didn’t give you all of them!” she said. “I still have more!”
And she showed me about 30 other bouquets. I seriously don’t know how she got them all in her boots.
We took those ones back, too, and as far as I know, she’s never stolen anything again.
We had good talks, we prayed together, and she apologized.
And she’s totally walking with God now! (Seriously: watch her videos!)
We should let children experience guilt
Seriously. If a small child is feeling guilty for sin, don’t try to diminish it by saying, “oh, that’s okay.” The total value of all of those paper flowers was maybe $5. It would have been easy to say, “thank you for telling me, it’s okay.” But don’t. The Holy Spirit is teaching your child to listen to His voice. Don’t short circuit the lesson!
Teach them to apologize. Teach them to make restitution. And then teach them that there is total forgiveness when they confess and they’re honest.
Those are actually precious memories to me, and I still laugh. And I’m sure Bruce and his wife will keep that photo so that they can use it at their daughter’s wedding.
Kids are funny when they apologize. But learning to listen to your conscience is a lesson that is no laughing matter at all.
Now let me know: how do you handle it when your child needs to apologize? Has your child ever stolen anything? Tell us in the comments!