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An apology is an investment in a relationship, says clinical psychologist Khosi Jiyane.

Parents have the responsibility to apologise to their children in order to acknowledge the child's dignity and sense of humanity, she explains.

It's about acknowledging the humanity of your child.... They are equally human and equally entitled to the dignity of your humanity.

Khosi Jiyane, Clinical psychologist

It's about preserving and restoring the 'self' of the child.

Khosi Jiyane, Clinical psychologist

An apology must be explicit and is only valid when it is sincerely meant, Jiyane adds.

Read: What are you leaving behind? Clinical psychologist Khosi Jiyane on family legacy

She says parents must reflect on their own behaviours and attitudes, and recognise that they won't always get everything right.

Apologising requires personal vulnerability, introspection, humility and an acknowledgement of the child.

Anytime is a good time to apologise. It's when you recognise that there's been a transgression of sorts.

Khosi Jiyane, Clinical psychologist

We all carry scars in one form or another from our imperfect parents.

Khosi Jiyane, Clinical psychologist

Also read: How to help your kids adjust to new siblings

Parents often have to apologise for a range of issues, such as disappointment, parental estrangement, for family secrets, not believing the child, for not creating a safe environment and for abuse.

According to Jiyane, parents must come to terms with their transgressions and broken trust in order for an apology to be genuine.

Listen to the discussion on The Eusebius McKaiser Show:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'I'm sorry' - why and when parents should apologise to their kids

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