The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Forgive
The importance of teaching your child to forgive
A child that asks for forgiveness recognizes her errors and feels responsibility for them. This is where the importance of teaching forgiveness to your children radicates.
Children who understand forgiveness will become responsible adults who will always work to achieve their highest potential.
As a result, they develop empathy and strong emotional health. This will help them overcome the obstacles they face each day.
The value of forgiveness for children
Forgiveness is considered one of the most important values for human beings to possess. Teaching little ones about forgiveness is something indispensable that can help both parties in a conflict.
It frees the offender from guilt, and frees the victim from the resentment that grudges produce.
Therefore, it’s important to know:
- How to forgive. Agreeing that the offender doesn’t have to pay for the mistake, and that the offense should be forgotten.
- How to ask for forgiveness. This implies recognizing one’s own guilt, and that harm was done. This attitude requires humility because it means admitting you were wrong. It also requires repentance, meaning that you don’t intend to repeat the offense.
How can I teach my children about forgiveness?
From the time children are small, children are very aware of the damage that words and actions can cause. However, as they grow older, this changes. Therefore, it’s important to incorporate notions that demonstrate the value of forgiveness.
Take note of these tips and adapting them to your child’s unique personality and learning habits:
- Teach with your example
The first lessons that a child learns in life occur in the home through the example of his parents. For this reason, avoid talking bad about others when your children are nearby.
You should also avoid fits of anger in front of them. However, if you do find yourself at fault, be humble and ask them for forgiveness. This way, they will learn that everyone makes mistakes and deserves a chance at forgiveness.
“A child that asks for forgiveness recognizes her errors and feels responsibility for them”
- Teach your children to forgive
In order to teach your children to forgive, you need to talk with them. Help them understand what it feels like to offend someone without intending to.
Explain to them that everyone makes mistakes, but that forgetting the offenses of others will help them feel better. And, of course, lead by example. Forgive your children readily when they make mistakes – even intentionally – and show grace towards others as well.
- Build up their self-esteem
Make it your mission to give your child a healthy self-esteem by showing her plenty of love. Set reasonable limits and rules that develop your child’s own ability to say no when needed.
The same limits and rules will also help your little ones to differentiate between diverse circumstances. Pay attention to your child and celebrate positive actions. At the same time, turn your child’s errors into valuable learning experiences.
Dedicating time to your children in each stage of their upbringing will help them live without resentment, pain or grudges. This will help them live happy lives now, as well as in the future.
Furthermore, your children will come to learn that all human beings have physical and emotional space that must be respected.
- Talk to your kids about the dangers of hate
Make use of games, toys and everyday situations to help your little ones understand how negative it is not to forgive. Teach them that resentment gets in the way of lasting relationships, and that it is only felt by the person who refuses to forgive.
Lovingly teach your children to expel negative thoughts from their mind.
“It’s important to incorporate notions that demonstrate the value of forgiveness”
- Expressing feelings and emotions is essential
Encourage and teach your children to express their feelings and emotions in a calm and positive way.
Tell them that it’s okay to cry. Provide your child with other methods of expression as well, such as drawing, writing or constructing a representation of his feelings. This will teach your children to channel their emotions in an appropriate way.
Teaching your children to forgive is necessary. At the same time, you need to help your child place limits on toxic relationships. This way, your children will keep their distance from anger, rage, manipulation, envy, etc.
Use all the tools within your reach. Stories, movies, games, etc., can all be helpful in order to raise an emotionally stable adult.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Díaz-Figueroa, P., & Prieto Ursúa, M. (2020). El desarrollo del perdón en niños. https://repositorio.comillas.edu/xmlui/handle/11531/45583
- Luskin, F. (2008). Perdonar es sanar. Editorial Norma.
- Fernández, I. S., Ursúa, M. P., & Martínez, J. L. (2018). Educar en el perdón. Padres y Maestros/Journal of Parents and Teachers, (374), 28-33. https://fund-encuentro.org/index.php/padresymaestros/article/view/8877