As soon as the first angry sounds came out of my mouth, I knew I needed to stop. I already regretted the words .5 seconds after they came out.
My "calm" arsenal was empty. My patience had run out about an hour before. All my other tactics and techniques had flown out of my mind and all I could see was red.
(Now, when I think back to being a kid, I cannot think of an instance where my Mom yelled at me. I think it's probably because I was a perfect child... Or she was just a phenomenal woman who could handle everything with calmness. Or maybe God's grace has erased any yelling that might have happened from my mind. I don't know for sure, but that makes for a pretty hard example to follow!)
So we got through our late dinner and everyone had mellowed out. Bedtime happened and I went to sit on my daughter's bed.
I apologized for yelling at her, for being so angry that I became out of control. And you know what she said? "It's okay, Mom. It was my fault."
Now here is where I got very clear with her. You see, I feel very strongly that a child's negative behavior does not warrant poor parenting on our part. No matter what she had done, I should not have roared (yes, I did take out my roaring voice), I could have found a better way to handle her disobedience.
I told her that although she had made me angry, it was not an excuse for me to yell at her. I should have had more self-control. And I apologized again. This beautiful little heart forgave me, hugged me, and then asked me to read her a chapter in the new book she had picked out.
This whole apology thing is not new to our family. My husband and I have both had to apologize to our children when we have wronged them. How else are we going to set an example of true sorrow and forgiveness if we don't show it to them ourselves?