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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 12, 2010 / 5 Kislev, 5771

The power of an apology

By Betsy Hart



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I had to ask my children — again — for forgiveness recently. It's something I said that had wounded. My words were thoughtless and they stung. I was truly sorry.

I'm always amazed and grateful at how quickly my children forgive me when I genuinely ask them to do so. But I shouldn't be surprised. An apology is such a powerful thing. If we can put aside our egos and offer a real one when it's called for — sometimes even when we don't understand why it's called for — the balm to the relationship is extraordinary.

I confess that I didn't really experience this much before I had kids. Very often, my pride was more important to me than mending a relationship. But I think having children made me a little more vulnerable than I'd ever been before to another's pain, and that's when things finally started to change.

I found that one can't offer a "but" or an "if" along with an apology — "I'm sorry if I offended you … I know what I said was ugly, but …" Nope. Just: "I'm so sorry I said (or did) an ugly thing. I'm going to work hard not to do it again."

No, I don't believe one should offer an apology when one can't in good conscience. If a child is angry at me for not getting her off the hook with a teacher for willingly not doing her homework, she is not getting an apology from me. But if my attitude seems mean-spirited — "Hah! You got caught; too bad for you." — I might well apologize for coming off coldly to her.

I tell my children all the time that the relationship with their siblings is more important than the thing they are fighting over in the moment. Surely that has to extend to egos, too.

G.K. Chesterton wisely said: "The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt."

Healing. What a gift. Even when we didn't intend to hurt another, if we have done so, then why not heal with an apology when we can?

Interestingly, a study from the University of Illinois at Chicago showed that when officials at its medical center instituted a policy of having staff members apologize for instances of malpractice, the number of malpractice lawsuits against the university, as well as the liability costs for the remaining lawsuits, dropped dramatically.

Repentance, healing. If more public figures made it part of their vocabulary, how much better off our world might be.

But I'm most concerned with the small world of my family.

I've noticed that my children are quick to apologize to me — to very genuinely say, "I'm so sorry, Mom." And I'm grateful for that, too. I think that's because they know that I'm likely to say, "Thanks for apologizing, honey," instead of, as I might have said some years ago, "Well, you SHOULD be sorry." Who wants to apologize if they are just going to walk into that buzz saw?

They are not so good about apologizing to each other, however, I think, because a buzz-saw response can be pretty common from their siblings. Sigh. We're all a work in progress. For my part, being a "work in progress" means I can still often get defensive, instead of repentant, especially if I'm approached in anger. There, I try to remember that my calling is to respond rightly, whether or not the other person is responding rightly.

Still, the big picture is that I hope when my children are adults they will say, as writer Margaret Laurence remembered it: "In some families, 'please' is described as the magic word. In our house, however, it was 'sorry.' "

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JWR contributor Betsy Hart, a frequent commentator on CNN and the Fox News Channel, can be reached by clicking here.

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