Asking My Five Year Old Daughter for Forgiveness

I get frustrated sometimes and say something totally wrong to my kids, and then have to go apologize. In our house there is no secret that Mommy isn’t perfect. But thankfully, with apologies, love, and forgiveness everything usually works out.  

But this week, I am horrified by something I said to my five year old daughter. I mentioned it to a close friend, who said I really needed to share this moment with you. She says that you might need to know that 1) I’m not perfect and 2) it might offer someone encouragement to know that other moms sometimes say things they regret as well. So, in the interest of transparency,  here’s what happened.

My 6 yo (almost 7) son and my just-turned-5 yo daughter are homeschooled together because they are very close to the same level academically. I just scale the activities to meet the needs of each. And in reality my 5 yo daughter is more academically advanced than my 6 yo son, but my son is more mature and has deeper thinking skills.

The issue arises in that my 6yo thinks/responds slower than anyone else in the household and so I have a BIG problem with my older two children  answering any question directed to him for him or feeding him the answer.

Well, a few days ago, as the two youngers and I were using letter tiles to do a phonics lesson (from Reading Reflex), I noticed that my son (the 6yo) was hesitating and watching what his sister was going to do before doing it on his own. So I decided to do a separate task just for him.

Clearly letting my daughter know that I wanted her brother to answer, I gave him the task. And, knowing the answer, she (my 5 yo) blurts it out. After reminding her that I wanted her brother to respond, I gave him another phonics task. And again, she pipes up with the answer.

Frustrated, I turned to her and said, not so kindly, “if you don’t be quiet while I’m asking him a question, you won’t be allowed to learn to read.”

Immediately I regretted it. I can’t believe I would even say that. Especially since it is not at all true. Apparently somewhere in my brain I chose to make a threat that I knew would mean something to her (she really wants to learn to read.)  Yeah it worked, but boy it was not the message I wanted to send.  I’m still in shock that I would even say it.

I did apologize to my daughter and talk to her about why I was frustrated and how even Mommy has to work on being nice sometimes. She forgave me and knows that I will continue to teach her to read.  Thank goodness for forgiveness. I just can’t believe I did that. Now I need to work on forgiving myself as well …and make sure that I don’t do that again. Yikes.

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