Little People, Big Feelings by Gen Muir OUT NOW

When Grown Ups have BIG feelings - 6 tips for repair with your child

connection emotion family Apr 09, 2024

We all know that little kids have BIG feelings.......but what about us?

Sometimes we lose it too.

Sometimes BIG people have BIG feelings. 

Despite our very best intentions.

I’ve yet to meet a parent that doesn’t loose it sometimes.

It might be in the kitchen at 5 pm trying to cook dinner....

With two small humans that WONT GET OFF YOUR LEGS.

Who are not responding to redirection no matter what you try. 

A hot frying pan cooking dinner that could hurt someone, one of the kids cries, another child asks to be picked up which isn’t safe while cooking and BOOM you lose it.

You snap, or freeze, or yell…..

And then you feel terrible.....

The good news is our kids do not need perfect parents who don’t make mistakes. In fact, evidence shows they begin to learn from their mistakes by watching us learn from ours.

It’s totally ok that you lose it. You are human.

There isn't a parent on earth that doesn't muck up. 

Kids don't need perfect parents. 

But what's the best way to get things back on track after we've had a rupture in our relationship with our kids?

The first thing to keep in mind, is that these moments are an opportunity to demonstrate the ability to say:

“sorry, I got that wrong.... can we start again?”

Being able to say sorry and repair is one of thee best things we can do for our kids. 


So what's the best thing to do when you stuff up?

Firstly breathe and centre.

Only go in to repair when calm and ready.

This is a good opportunity for what I call a “parental time out” this is where we just get away (as much as we safely can) and take a minute to breathe. It’s important we tell our kids that it is us and not them in the time out.

This models the ability to take a minute to regulate before reacting which is also good for our kids

Say sorry

 Then, when you are ready you simply say “sorry, I got that wrong” .... aim for less words, the less words the better and more physical connection.

Keep it simple, and physically close

Our kids feel connection much more though physical gesture than words so it is much less about what we say than what we do. I recommend you hug your child and hold the hug until they physically wriggle away from you. This allows them to take as long as they need to repair.

Resist any urge to teach or provide a lesson

“I’m sorry but if you had only listened” .... and don’t collapse either “I’m sorry, mummy is hopeless and a terrible parent”

Keep it real

Like most things with kids the apology needs to be genuine. They are truth detectives!

These moments where we get it wrong provide the most beautiful opportunities for connection as long as we are willing to be vulnerable and say sorry.

The main thing to remember is we are all human and we all make mistakes. Be kind to yourself because parenting is a really touch gig some days and you are doing the best you can.

But here is my final, and most important tip.....

......Instead of talking negatively to yourself

Or feeling guilty or ashamed

Do this instead:

Catch the urge to be negative and instead talk to yourself they way you would if a friend had the same experience:

  • Tell YOU that you are a good parent, you are doing your best
  • ASK YOU what loosing it means, do you need a break? When was the last time you had any fun?
  • Think about how to lower the pressure, or put support in place to ease things up for you.

Parenting is a long game, and it’s so reassuring to know that kids don’t need you to be perfect, or always happy, or flawless…. Just real, authentic and being able to reflect and repair when things get off track.


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