Dr. Courtney Knapp

Child & Adolescent Psychologist Serving Orange County, California

Repairing the Relationship with Your Child After a Mistake


We hear it all the time… “we all make mistakes, nobody is perfect”. We hear it all the time because it is so true! I was first introduced to the concept of repairing the relationship with your child when I was in graduate school. I watched a video of Gary Landreth’s in which he briefly talks about if one yells at his/her child, which will happen at some point, that it is okay to apologize afterward and admit to making a mistake. Not only does this help repair the relationship but it also models taking responsibility for one’s behavior.

This great article discusses one mother’s personal experience with repairing and it is a beautiful example. This mother was able to apologize and be honest about her own feelings of frustration as well as take responsibility for her behavior. When we are upset it is easy to use blaming language, for example: “I’m sorry I yelled, but you made me feel frustrated”. This is not taking responsibility as it brings blame back to the child. In this mother’s example she in summary stated “I’m sorry I was frustrated and I should have been more gentle” and takes full responsibility for her feelings and actions. So yes, mistakes will be made…we will yell and overreact at times…the mistake itself is not what matters in the end, but rather being able to repair the relationship after the mistake.

Summer Scheduling

As summer approaches children are feeling excited about the freedom they will have over the coming months, but parents are often left feeling anxious about how to keep children entertained for all those hours! Parents also worry about children falling behind academically over the summer. I think it is important to maintain as consistent a schedule as possible during the summer. By this I mean sticking to the same wake and bedtime schedule as well as the same daily schedule such as morning routines, meal times, bedtime routines, and chores. To fill all of that extra time you may consider extracurricular activities such as sports or camps. This can become financially draining as well as time consuming depending on your family’s situation so an alternative is to get creative with ways to have fun at home.

Here is an interesting and well organized take on summertime at home.  This schedule mixes things up between academics, household chores, structured fun, and free time fun.  It is important to keep in mind that school is stressful for a lot of children and it is a lot of work these days!  So don’t feel the need to stress academics during this well-deserved break but do keep some routines consistent and monitor that your children are engaging in something active most days rather than lounging in front of the television.