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Five magic words you can use when you get it wrong with your kids


Sometimes we parents get it wrong.

We yell or lose it.

We ‘dig in’ for the sake of being right, long beyond the point of being helpful.

We don’t respond with kindness in a moment that requires connection, because we had our own stuff going on.


 One of the biggest myths about parenting is that there’s an ideal – that it’s even possible to be the parent that our child needs all of the time.

 Parenting is hard. It’s taxing, it’s physical, and it pushes your buttons in ways you never imagined before kids.

Some days – despite knowing the parent we want to be, we are a different parent – the parent we swore we’d never be.

If you think you are the only parent making these mistakes, you’re not. We all stuff it up.

And while there is no ‘undo’ in parenting, here are the words that create a ‘reset’.


Let me try that again”


It takes courage to stop and ask for a do over, but it’s worth it, in both the short and long term, for the sake of your relationship. 

Evidence shows that never making a mistake is not what our kids need. But making mistakes, owning them and taking steps to repair the damage, is. In fact, it’s one of the most useful models a child can have.

Our mistakes can be a great moment to model the ability to pause, reflect, change tack, and apologise if necessary. Surely these are qualities we would watch with pride in our own kids: and showing this in ourselves is much more effective than just asking them to “say sorry” when they make mistakes.

 Those five words: “Let me try that again”, can help us to re-centre and reset. You might add: “ I wish I’d done that differently” or simply “I’m sorry.”

 The most important thing is that your body language is open and ready for connection. 


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