Few people realize the huge impact the ability to forgive can have on their happiness, nor do most people think of this as a skill that they need to teach and practice with their children. But important it is: forgiving people tend to be happier, healthier, and more empathetic.
The inability to forgive, on the other hand, tends to make us into those people—we all know a few—who can’t seem to stop plotting revenge or ruminating about how they’ve been wronged. Researchers find unforgiving people tend to be hateful, angry, and hostile—which also makes them anxious, depressed, and neurotic. So, unless we are okay with our children embodying those qualities, we need to teach them how and why to forgive others.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.
Forgiving is tough business. It takes courage and resolve to let go of negative feelings when we’ve been wronged. Fortunately, it gets easier with practice; especially if we start with the small stuff and get in the habit early on—and it makes us stronger and better people.