I was about 10-12 years old and it was winter in northern Colorado. My friends and I were building snow forts and making snowballs for a big snowball fight. My dad came out and knocked down the fort I was working on. I jumped up and chased him with a snowball. He ran back in the house and locked the door. Then he stood on the inside of the door and mocked me and made faces at me. I was angry. Very angry. I did the obvious thing, I threw my snowball as hard as I could right at his face. To my surprise and his too, the snowball (which was probably more of an ice ball) went straight through the screen door and broke the window right in his face. To say the least I was terrified. I don’t remember whether I was more afraid that he was hurt or that I was about to be, but I do know that my anger disappeared completely and immediately. I was sure that I was in sooooooooo much trouble. The shock came when after my dad, who turned out to not be badly hurt (just a few nicks around his face), apologized to me. He admitted to me that he had provoked me and he took the responsibility for the entire incident. I was stunned and still am when I remember it.
I have heard people say that you should never show weakness to your children, never apologize, put on a good front for the kids, etc. The fact of the matter is real people, kids included know that we are not perfect and pretending otherwise is hypocrisy of the worst kind. One of the most important things that we can teach our children is how to deal with the human condition of sin. They will not understand how or will not be willing to confess their sins, repent of their sins, and ask for forgiveness when they wrong others or God if we don’t teach them and show them how to do it. They will have to figure it out on their own later in life.