Your children are going to have arguments. They are going to fight, and someone’s feelings are going to be hurt. Their favorite toy may break in the hands of another child or they may not feel included. When these experiences occur, it is important your children learn to forgive others. But teaching forgiveness can be difficult. July 7 is Global Forgiveness Day. On this day, teach your children the importance of forgiveness and how to forgive. Below are 4 suggestions for teaching your children forgiveness.
1. Communicate and teach
Forgiveness can be a hard concept for children to learn. Our emotions often get the best of us and cause us to do things that we aren’t proud of. We need to teach our children to calm down when they are upset and learn to forgive. But first, you must teach them what forgiveness is and how to forgive.
Often, the best time to teach children about forgiveness is when they need to forgive. If someone has done something to them, pull them aside, sit them down and talk about it. Use the current situation to explain how forgiveness works and why it is so important. Look for these types of teaching situations each day. You will be surprised how frequently you will find them, especially if your children have other siblings and fight often.
2. Make them say it
Teach your children to always say “I am sorry.” Teach them the true meaning of these words and the importance of being genuine when you say it. Even if the situation is small, make them say these three words. If they learn to apologize over the small things, they will ask for forgiveness over the big things, as well.
3. Be an example
The only way your children will truly learn how to forgive is by following your example. Your example is the best teacher, and your children are watching you. Show your children how to forgive. Let them know when someone has wronged you and what you did to forgive them. If you are not genuine and sincere when you forgive others, your children will pick up on those feelings. Teaching your child true forgiveness is a large responsibility and it falls upon you and your spouse.
4. Be patient
You can’t teach your children true forgiveness overnight. It will take a significant amount of time and several instances where forgiveness is required. Don’t become too overwhelmed and frustrated when your child doesn’t grasp the concept of true forgiveness. If you are diligent and teach them at every opportunity, you will eventually see progress.
Remember, forgiving others can be hard. It will be hard for your children to grasp the true meaning of this concept. But if you teach them, show them and help them understand what it means to truly forgive another individual, you will see results. Global Forgiveness Day is the perfect starting point to help your children understand how to truly forgive. Perhaps, help you remember the importance of forgiveness, as well.
Courtnie is an editor for FamilyShare.com and has a degree in journalism. She has a slight obsession with running, newspapers and large fuzzy blankets. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons.