I spend a lot of time giving parents new tools and ideas. I have seen that look in their eyes when they realize they have been doing the exact opposite of what they NOW know they should be doing. There is a moment of panic (oh no!) followed by remorse (I feel awful for doing that!). To which I respond, "It's okay. Relax. This is not irreversible damage." (Grammar Police - yes that was a double negative.) We are all doing the best we can with the information we have. It is not too late. We cannot go back in time, but we can go back to the place of wounding and bind it up.
So what does that look like in real life? We choose a moment to go to our child, look them in the eyes, and sincerely and age appropriately admit our mistake and ask for forgiveness. Then simply explain how you will handle the issue in the future. This is so powerful! Not only are you modeling humility, and how to reconcile, but also personal responsibility. Mommy is always responsible for Mommy's behavior.
Here are some examples from some of our own flat tire moments.
Mommy and Daddy didn't realize we were keeping you up too late. It is our job to make sure you get enough sleep so you can be happy and healthy. We are going to pay more attention so you can have your bedtime routine. Will you forgive us?
Sweetie, daddy should not have yelled like that. That was not okay. Will you forgive me? Next time I feel angry I am going to count to 10 and then use my regular voice."
We didn't realize this, but you are old enough now to choose if you would like to live in a messy room or not during the week. We will require you to clean up, vacuum and change your sheets once a week. If you would like suggestions on how to organize things so that you can find them, we are here to help.