How to Make Amends with Your Children

To make amends with your children, it's important that you feel calm and that your apology is genuine. Keep reading to learn more.
How to Make Amends with Your Children
Maria Fátima Seppi Vinuales

Written and verified by the psychologist Maria Fátima Seppi Vinuales.

Last update: 11 March, 2023

Arguments or fights are normal in all relationships. Sometimes, as a result of a bad day; other times, because we don’t agree on decisions. The important thing is to be able to take these differences as learning opportunities. Therefore, if you’ve had an argument, here are some keys to help you make amends with your children.

Fights and arguments with children

As in all relationships, having an argument doesn’t have to be a symptom of something complex. At certain stages, it’s to be expected that you’ll have a fight with your children, as the search for autonomy and an identity of their own leads them to start becoming more assertive with their decisions and their own tastes.

However, after the storm should come the calm. Learning to apologize is a skill that has to do with emotional intelligence and empathy.

The benefits of reconciling with your child

In addition, when you make amends with your children, there are several benefits, such as the following:

  • It allows you to strengthen the relationship by accepting that there may be a misunderstanding, but that your love for them is more powerful.
  • It helps you to reflect on your actions.
  • It makes us more real and less perfect by providing opportunities for learning and improvement.
  • It facilitates finding other ways of conflict resolution.
  • It helps in coexistence and non-violence.
  • It allows us to move forward with more positive emotions and feelings. It also frees us from the discomfort generated by anger toward others.
  • It transmits values such as respect and consideration for others.

You may be interested in: Asking Our Children for Forgiveness

Tips so that you can make amends with your children

We’ll tell you some of the keys that you can take into account when you make amends with your children.

A mother making amends with her daughter.
Fights between parents and children can be common. However, after the conflict, it’s important to reestablish harmony and make amends. For this, adults must set an example.

Put your pride aside and reach out

You may be right, but at first, it’s better not to think about it. The important thing is to have the possibility of safeguarding the bond with your child. In this regard, express the way the argument makes you feel.

Validate emotions

It’s important to validate your child’s emotions as well as your own. Ask them how they feel, accept their response, and show empathy. Also, avoid minimizing their feelings with phrases such as “it’s not that big of a deal” or “you need to be stronger,” among others.

Talk about the current conflict

In each case, it’s best to focus on the conflict you’re trying to resolve and avoid referring to other past situations.

Teach more appropriate behavior

For example, if your child yelled or threw a toy, it’s important to emphasize that these aren’t appropriate reactions. Once the situation calms down, you need to show them how to learn to control themself.

If they’re young and don’t yet know how to manage their emotions, you can help them. For example, you can teach them breathing exercises and tell them to inflate and deflate like a balloon. You can build these “emotional support” tools together with your child by teaching them to think about what they need and want when they feel bad or angry.

If your child has misbehaved, it is important to explain to him that what he did was not the right thing to do. Also, the adult should help your child understand and control his or her emotions. 

Be an example

Reflect on your own behavior: How did you act? What could you improve? What did you handle well? If you yell at your child, you teach them that this attitude is a valid method of conflict resolution. If you overreacted, it’s best to acknowledge your fault, explain that the situation overwhelmed you, and talk about how you felt. In this regard, it’s crucial for adults to be able to recognize their mistakes.

If the argument was very heated, it’s a good idea to take some time and distance to be able to “cool down”. Of course, it’s important to consider the age of your child. For example, if you distance yourself from your 2-year-old child, they may think that you stopped loving them and feel very bad about it. However, with a teenager, this technique is more appropriate.

Above all, choose your strategy, but always take into account the child you have in front of you. Behave according to what you know about your child.

Avoid blaming or manipulation

When you make amends with your child, choose your words and strategies carefully. Blaming them, pressuring them to resolve the issue without giving them the time they need, or playing the victim aren’t the most appropriate ways to go about it. On the contrary, they speak of invalidation, a lack of respect for the emotions of others, and the absence of sincere apologies.

Reassuring the bond

Finally, the basis of a secure attachment has to do with reassuring your child that, no matter what happens, your relationship is what matters. This means that, even if you think differently and mistakes can be made, you’re open to dialogue and understanding. In this regard, you can also reflect on how to improve the performance of both of you in a later conversation and establish some agreements on how to handle yourselves.

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.

  • LÓPEZ CASSÀ, È., (2005). La educación emocional en la educación infantil. Revista Interuniversitaria de Formación del Profesorado, 19(3),153-167.[fecha de Consulta 14 de Enero de 2023]. ISSN: 0213-8646. Recuperado de:
  • Heras Sevilla, D., Cepa Serrano, A., & Lara Ortega, F. (2016). Desarrollo emocional en la infancia. Un estudio sobre las competencias emocionales de niños y niñas. International Journal of Developmental and Educational Psychology. Revista INFAD de Psicología.1(1), 67.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.