Saying sorry to someone is never easy, especially if it’s to your own daughter. Children can often overlook the fact that parents are people too – and thus, they make mistakes. However, it’s up to the parent to be the responsible adult and acknowledge their own mistakes as well as their own shortcomings. Apologies are important tools that can help mend relationships between parents and children, but sometimes it can be difficult to say things out loud.
There are different ways of apologizing to your daughter, but there are some things that need to be said. In an apology letter, it’s important that you acknowledge and accept your mistake. While you may have your reasons, you shouldn’t make excuses. Seeing as how this is an apology letter, make sure to say you’re sorry and to ask for forgiveness. Let them know you’re willing to change and remind her that you’ll always be there for her.
This article will discuss some reasons why some parents would opt to write a letter for forgiveness, and what are the crucial points needed to include in your letter to your daughter asking for forgiveness.
Why You Should Write a Letter for Forgiveness
Although it may seem like writing letters is a thing of the past, it is still an important form of communication used today. Although an apology can be said in person, there are certain reasons why some parents would opt to write a letter when it comes to asking for forgiveness.
One of the most common reasons why writing a letter to your daughter asking for forgiveness is a suitable option is because your daughter may not want to talk to you. Your relationship may be at a point where they don’t want to be in the same room as you or hear what you have to say. They may even feel like you wanting to apologize is just to make yourself feel better. If you find yourself in this situation, then writing a letter for them to read may be your only option to communicate.
Another important reason why some parents opt to write a letter when it comes to asking their daughters for forgiveness is that writing gives them the time and space to think about their words. Oftentimes, emotions can get heated in these conversations and people might say things they don’t actually mean. Thus, if you are prone to these types of reactions, it might be best to take time by yourself and write a thoughtful letter.
The last reason is that even the act of writing a letter can already be a step in the right direction. Writing letters has long been known to be quite a therapeutic task. It has even been used as a tool in therapy as it has been found to be able to help heal both the writer of the letter, as well as the recipient.
What to Include in the Letter
Each parent can have a different situation with their daughter. However, there are common things that you should consider when writing a letter to your daughter asking for forgiveness.
Acknowledge Your Mistake
Every apology should always begin with the acknowledgment of the mistake. Some people quickly apologize to someone when they feel that they have made a mistake. However, the apology can seem empty if you don’t know what you’re apologizing for in the first place. Thus, it is important to acknowledge what it is you’re apologizing for. This helps your daughter come to realize that you have indeed thought about this.
Acknowledging the mistake depends on your specific situation. For example, it can be something like: “I know I wasn’t the best parent,” or “I know I wasn’t always there for you growing up.” It may seem like a simple sentence, but it is an important step towards resolution.
Aside from acknowledging your mistake, it is also important to acknowledge the ramifications of your actions and what it has done to your relationship with your daughter. By letting her know that you are aware of your rocky relationship, it gives her the idea that that’s not what you want with her – you want something better. You’re letting her know that you want a healthy and beautiful relationship with her and that you want to have one another in each other’s lives again.
Accept Your Mistake
Acknowledging your mistake is only the first part. It has to be succeeded by your acceptance as well. If you acknowledge your mistake without taking ownership of it, then it can be misinterpreted. It may appear as though you know it was a mistake but you’re not declaring that it was one that you made.
Understandably, some issues are not one-sided. You may have your own reasons as to why you did the things you did. However, you have to remember that you’re the parent in this relationship. You’re the one that has to be mature enough to not only acknowledge your own mistakes but own up to them as well.
Another perspective that you have to be mindful of is that of your daughter. You have to remember that she sees you as her parent. Your actions can carry more weight just because of the fact that you’re her parent. There’s a difference between a friend of hers doing something wrong versus her parent doing something wrong. Accept your mistake and hope that she can accept it as well.
Don’t Make Excuses
It can be easy to begin listing your own reasons for the things you’ve done. However, it is advisable that you hold off on those excuses. In fact, don’t make excuses if you can help it.
Understandably, there will always be reasons that make total sense. However, you also have to think whether your daughter wants to hear those reasons or not. Some people might not even care as to why you did those things because at the end of the day, what’s done is done.
However, if you feel like your excuses are valid and can help enlighten your daughter about the situation, then add them as you see fit. There are parents who weren’t able to live up to their children’s expectations just because they were young adults themselves. It can be hard for children to understand sometimes that parents were children once too. No one really teaches people how to become parents. It’s just something parents have to learn on the fly, and unfortunately, they can mess up sometimes.
If you have to include your excuses, do so for the sole purpose of letting them know your side of the story. However, it is important that you don’t hide behind those reasons and blame them for everything that happened.
Say You’re Sorry
Perhaps the most important part of the letter to your daughter asking for forgiveness is actually writing to tell that you’re sorry. You’ve already laid the groundwork by acknowledging your mistakes and owning up to them. The ribbon to tie it all together is by saying the words: “I’m sorry.”
Those may be simple words, but you should know how important those words are. Those are the words you may have taught your own daughter when she was just a toddler but saying it back to her is important to show that you practice what you preach.
Saying that you’re sorry is the actual part of the letter that constitutes an apology. The situation can even become worse if you managed to write an entire apology letter without actually saying you’re sorry.
Ask for Forgiveness
After you’ve said your sorry, you can then follow that up by asking for forgiveness. Some people might think that saying sorry and asking for forgiveness are two of the same things. However, the two are distinctly different from one another.
Saying you’re sorry is about letting the other person know that you feel remorseful for what you’ve done. Saying you’re sorry is about letting the other person know that you know you’ve committed a mistake and that you regret it. Saying you’re sorry is solely an offering to the one you’ve wronged.
On the other hand, asking for forgiveness means that you want them to be a part of the process. Asking for forgiveness means that you want the other person to have a change of heart and accept your apology.
The difference is that you can always say you’re sorry without needing their forgiveness. Depending on the mistake committed, some people might even accept that they cannot be forgiven for what they’ve done.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for forgiveness. This is an important part of mending your relationship and being in each other’s lives again. However, you cannot rush the process. When you ask for forgiveness, you must be willing to give them the time and space to be able to forgive you.
Willingness to Change
Apologizing and asking for forgiveness are merely steps towards rebuilding the relationship you have with your daughter. One of the most important things you can let her know in your letter to your daughter asking for forgiveness is that you’re willing to change for the better. Just like how the saying goes, “actions speak louder than words,” you should let your daughter know that you’re willing to put in the work to mend the relationship.
This can differ depending on the situation you find yourself in. If the problem was that you didn’t spend enough time with them, it might be helpful to write how much of your time you’re willing to sacrifice from here on out. If the problem was that you didn’t respect your daughter’s choices, let them know that you’re working on it. The thing is, you have to let them know that she should expect a difference when she does decide to forgive you and participate in the relationship.
Tell Her You Love Her
Once you’re satisfied with what you’ve written so far, you can cap it off by telling her how much you love her. Though you may have your differences, you clearly love your daughter which is why you’re writing this letter in the first place. Let them know that although it wasn’t clear to them at the time, you’ve always loved them from the moment they were born and that you will always be there for them.
This is an important part of the letter as you can’t expect her to respond to your letter right away. Once she receives your apology letter, all you should do is give them time and space to process it on their own. While it may take some daughters little time before they respond, some might need a little more time on their own.
It’s important to tell her how much you love her because you don’t know when, or even if, she’ll ever respond. So, if this is the last thing you ever say to her, at least you won’t regret not telling her how much you feel about her.