How to Correct Parental Mistakes

Congratulations! Coming to this page is a sign that you have taken the hardest step and admitted your mistake to yourself!


  1. Image titled Correct Parental Mistakes Step 1
    Recognize that by admitting to being wrong, you are doing your child(ren) a favor. First of all, you are acknowledging your mistake and aiming to correct it. Second, you are showing that people make mistakes, and that it's good to be upfront about them. You are setting a positive example by admitting that you are wrong.
  2. Image titled Correct Parental Mistakes Step 2
    Write some notes to yourself about what is important for you to say. That way you won't forget to say them if you get upset. Examples:
    • 1. "I did not intend to hurt you or anyone."
    • 2. "I'm sorry."
    • 3. "I realize we need to talk more."
    • 4. "It's better if we work together on our problems."
  3. Image titled Correct Parental Mistakes Step 3
    Set up a meeting to talk to your child(ren) or the whole family. You might set up some positive communication rules for the discussion if you haven't already done so. See How to Practice Nonviolent Communication.
  4. Image titled Correct Parental Mistakes Step 4
    Calmly explain that you've been making a mistake. Apologize for the harm you've caused, and offer to make it right.
    • Be prepared for your child(ren) to react emotionally, especially if the mistake you've been making was a big one. For example, if you've yelled at your daughter in the past, she may start crying when you bring it up. Patiently listen to their perspectives and allow them to let out their feelings.
  5. Image titled Correct Parental Mistakes Step 5
    Discuss how you can make it up to everyone. Let them offer suggestions. Also talk about alternative ways to handle problems in the future. For example, instead of yelling in the future, you could take some deep breaths, leave, and come back later to explain why you are upset.
  6. Image titled Correct Parental Mistakes Step 6
    Reassure your children that you love them. That's what they care about most.


  • You may need help with this if you have a history of abuse, or if your child is troubled and may use this manipulatively.

Article Info

Categories: Parenting