A Baby Girl Gave Her Mom a Lesson in Forgiveness That Only Took One Minute, but It Worked Better Than a Therapy Session

Family & kids
4 years ago

People have written an ocean of books and essays on how to forgive those who hurt us. But it’s still tough for some of us to let things go, because we don’t really understand the concept of forgiveness. Mother and blogger Mary Katherine Backstrom had a unique chance to learn about it from her 3-year-old. She shared a post on her Facebook page describing the result of a little argument with her daughter and got a warm response from thousands of people.

Bright Side couldn’t stay silent once we heard about this and got permission to share her story. We hope that this accurate definition of forgiveness from a young girl will help you to not hold your grudges for too long.

My daughter and I just had a knock-down, drag-out bedtime hour. Finally, about ten minutes ago, I put her to bed and through clinched teeth I said, “I love you, Holland, but not another word tonight. You are going to sleep now. I’m done fussing over stuffed animals.”

“Mommy?” I paused on the way out the door, literally biting my tongue I was so frustrated. “What is it, Holland?” “I DO have one more thing to say.”

Of course she did. She was standing on the bed with her hands on her hips too. Her hair was wild and she was using her arm to wipe her tears and snot off of her face. “Mommy,” my 3-year-old said, staring me down with venom in her tiny voice... “I FORGIVE YOU!!!”

Then she laid down and cried and honest to goodness, for a hot minute, I didn’t know what to do. The way she said, “I forgive you,” made it sound like a cuss word. I walked over to the bedside and leaned over. “Baby girl, do you know what forgiveness means?”

She was still sniffling, her face shoved deep into her Little Mermaid pillow. “Yes,” she muttered. I really had to hear this. “It means you were wrong, and I’m tired of being mad, and now I’m going to sleep and my heart won’t have a tummy ache.”

So there you have it, folks. Tonight I was taught a lesson in forgiveness by a 3-year-old. It was a gut punch too. And you’re dang right I climbed in that bed and loved on her. Because, to be honest, MY heart had a bit of a tummy ache.

I was reminded by my toddler to never go to bed angry. Because when you do, your heart will have a tummy ache. And you know what? I’ve been alive for 35 years, and I’ve got to give it to her: She’s not wrong.

Do you agree with this definition of forgiveness? Tell us what wise things your children have shared with you.


I feel like sometimes little kids are wiser and more kind than adults and we can learn from them.

Very sweet story :3

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