Cameron Diaz on the importance of apologizing to your kid: ‘mommy’s human too’

Cameron Diaz visited Kelly Clarkson on her show to promote her Avaline wine. Man, I love Kelly, but she is still talking over her guests too much. She stepped on so many of Cameron’s comments, it was hard to figure out what Cameron said vs. what Kelly planted in the conversation. They started off talking about Cameron’s love of parenting her two-year old daughter Raddix. Kelly asked if Cameron got frustrated with the common toddler tantrums like most people do. Cameron took a much more analytical approach and said she saw it as her role to figure out what was behind the child’s frustration and help her voice it. She also said it was important to “repair.” So that when she loses her cool with Raddix, she apologizes and lets her daughter know that sometimes “mommy’s human too.”

Cameron Diaz is opening up about the challenges and rewards of parenting.

During a Monday appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Diaz — who shares daughter Raddix, 2, with husband Benji Madden — told host Kelly Clarkson that motherhood is “the best thing I’ve ever done in life.”

Still, there have been times where the Golden Globe nominee, 49, has lost her cool.

When Clarkson, 40, asked about those moments when parenting can be frustrating, Diaz said that she does her “mom checklist” and tries to understand what Raddix might be feeling.

“Did she eat? Is she tired? What time is it? When was the last time she ate? When did she nap? You just kind of start there, and you go, ‘What just happened? Is there something she’s trying to communicate to me?’ ” Diaz explained.

“And I feel like as a parent, my job is to just help her find the words to her emotions, her experience, what she’s going through and be able to help her identify that and move through it.”

Still, Diaz admitted that moments like these can be “challenging.”

She added, “But you know what’s also really imperative — to repair. Like if you do blow up, just to repair that and say, ‘Oh my God, mommy lost her s—‘ And, ‘I didn’t mean to say that to you. If I hurt your feelings or if I upset you, I just want you to know that mommy’s human too.’ “

[From People]

Cameron said that because she’s an older parent and because she waited and worked so hard to have a baby, it’s easier for her to be as Zen as she is in her approach to outbursts. I was considered an older parent too and I did not get the chill out memo. I think Cameron’s personality is probably more along this line of how she approaches a situation. I can’t believe a two-year-old makes anyone more rational, but maybe that’s just my experience. Cameron also had her baby during quarantine and they got to spend a lot of time together. I’ll bet that’s made a big shift in parenting as well.

I agree with the apologizing part. It’s not easy, but I think parents need to apologize to kids when it’s appropriate. Some parents apologize too much or for the wrong things, but there are also parents who believe they should never apologize and that’s devastating to children. I don’t know how good I was about doing it when mine were two, but I’m pretty good about it now. The cool part is, it’s reciprocal. And there’s few things better than a teenager who apologizes, unsolicited, when they’ve messed up.

Photo credit: YouTube and Instagram

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26 Responses to “Cameron Diaz on the importance of apologizing to your kid: ‘mommy’s human too’”

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  1. Noki says:

    I am speaking from my own experience and African background. My parents have NEVER apologised for anything they simply believe that a parent should never have to bring themselves to that level with their child. I will add my uncles and aunts share the same sentiments. You may rarely get a ‘ oh did i really do that,it must have been a mistake’ but never an actual apology.

    • Roop says:

      @Noki, same for me (though I’m not African). My parents never, ever apologized, no matter what they had done wrong or how badly they had hurt me. It was one of the toughest things to learn to do as a parent myself, but I pushed myself to do it, and I still push myself to do it. It’s really rewarding when I do humble myself and apologize to my kids unreservedly. I can see how it helps them build trust in me, which is so important.

      And like Hecate says, once they learn it from you they (as teenagers!) will sometimes apologize spontaneously, which is a great feeling as a parent.

      I like what Cameron says in this interview, I like her honesty. I think that apologizing to your kids goes a long way to teaching them empathy.

    • Runaway says:

      Omg this!!!! Black woman, Caribbean, and my parents, my mother especially to this day has never accepted any accountability or falliblity which has always frustrated me. One of the things I’m most proud of about my mothering is that I always take accountability for mistakes, apologize and talk to my daughters at any age when I make a mistake. Because I do, I’m not perfect, I’m not infallible and I’m learning as I go like we all do, that’s life. And I hope I’m modeling that for my girls when we mess up, even unintentionally to take accountability and do what you can to rectify. Practice makes progress not perfection as my 6 year old says.
      But I’m also teaching them not to needlessly apologize just for existing or not being perfect, we’re black, we’re women and we’re Canadian, apologizing is like the air we breathe. I’m trying to cut out that bullshit too lol

      • Mirage says:

        That last paragraph! Yes to be assertive too as Black women.

      • Kate says:

        “Practice makes progress not perfection as my 6 year old says.”
        Wow, your six year old is so wise! Love this.

    • HufflepuffLizLemon says:

      My parents NEVER apologized and along with some of their other parenting (very controlling, very critical), I’ve spent years learning to parent gently and kindly-including apologizing as needed and appropriate-and I’m unpacking the issues from my parented style in therapy, and that is painful.

      I will say, my parents were acting from a place of love, and I still had a safe and relatively happy childhood, but looking back, I can tie some of my current anxiety, fear of failure, and people pleasing behaviors to how I was parented, and I’m hoping to minimize the generational trauma. My mother occasionally feels the need to criticize my appearance or choices to this day, although I’m much better equipped to just ignore her or tell her, respectfully, to shut it.

    • Meg says:

      Mine never did either they thought they were above it but the managers and teachers I respected most were the ones who admitted when they screwed up and changed for the better but the stubbornness or never apologizing means you’ll never change either it’s too much of a hit to their ego. Big reason toxic people have kids, never have to apologize and as my mom said when I mentioned trust is earned ‘haah I’m your mother, I don’t have to do any of that’

      • geekish1 says:

        I always apologized to my kids when I messed up. I also talked to them like they were (mostly) rational human beings, even when they were little.I once rread a parenting book that said that if your child can convince you that they need X, or that you were being unfair when you said Y, you should listen and agree with them. Both my kids grew up to be very persuasive and logical, and luckily neither one of them is a lawyer.

  2. Summerlover says:

    I am just here to say that the thumbnail photo of hers….she looks gorgeous!

    • Smart&Messy says:

      Yes! It’s a lovely photo, and she looks really happy and a bit emotional in it.

  3. anna2222222 says:

    My parents never ever apologized to me when I was a child – it is just not done in an abusive household. And my dad’s apologies to me before he passed and the apologies my mum has given to me now as I become her carer have meant so so much. I apologize all the time to my son if I’ve been snappy or forgotten something, and I don’t stop talking with him until he understands enough to apologize genuinely when he’s done something wrong. We talk about what zone we were in and why we did it and what would have been a better way to deal with it. Cameron sounds like a really happy amazing mum.

  4. Mirage says:

    I like this thread a lot.
    My parents rarely apologised to us, but they tried to sometimes.
    What struck me at the time was how much it seems to take out of them, as if it was embarrassing to apologise.
    I’m a mother now and I don’t hesitate to apologise to my children. To me it is the basis of the respect I give to them as their mother. And they do apologise to me too, spontaneously and kindly, at only 6 and 3. This is great!

    • Kate says:

      I think their embarrassment comes from shame. To admit wrongdoing = I am bad and the shame is too much so they avoid doing it. I’ve had to learn how to apologize as a grown adult because I never received any as a kid either. I give them freely to my kids now and it feels really good to have that repair and connection.

  5. Yvette says:

    Cameron remains one of the most beautiful women in the world. 🙂

  6. missskitttin says:

    100% agree. Even apologizing for things that I did wrong as a mom, or was too harsh when I was a young mom to my older kids. She sounds like such a great mom.

  7. Annaloo. says:

    My mother is Korean. She comes from Confucianism, where there are set relationships between people based upon roles (teacher to student, oldest to youngest, etc). Believe me, it’s very anti-western and I think something many older generations of Asians may be dealing with concerning the more westernized thinking of the younger generations.

    So, no way I’m getting any apology for anything, and that’s fine . As I am older I see her as a very human, with flaws, very honorable woman who did whatever she thought was necessary to protect and raise my brother and me the best way she could. I’m not here waiting for an apology for the times she could have been kinder or sweeter or whatever, but I also understand those adult children that want one from their parents. Absolutely understand. However, from my own POV, I know my mom did her best with what she had and knew. I can give her grace.

    I’m grateful for my mother. So grateful. Incredible woman, incredible person 🙂

  8. SuzieQ says:

    I was really lucky. Both my parents were at ease apologizing, though honestly, my mother rarely lost her cool. My dad had more of a temper — he would yell (never hit) and send us to our rooms. Then we’d count until we heard him climbing the stairs to say he was sorry. We adored him; we adored both our parents; and they adored us. I feel the same about my kids.
    Thanks for indulging me in that memory of my dad — he died when I was in my 20s and I’ve never stopped missing him.

  9. Janelle says:

    She seems like a wonderful woman and mom. I so respect the parents apologizing to their kids. Mine didn’t much but I still recall a momentous time when they did apologize, tearfully, for something very wrong they did to us kids. It was so important and meant SO much to me. Good on parents changing the patterns and breaking toxicity. I love an accountable parent, makes for a compassionate and forgiving kid.

  10. Christine says:

    I relate to Cameron so much on this. It’s so hard to look at a tiny furious face that you created (which is furious for reasons you don’t remotely understand a lot of the time) and recognize that you owe said face and person an apology, but it is so necessary.

    I am a person that prefers one minute of yelling, to get out my frustrations, but my son is exactly the opposite. He may be 12, but he deserves an apology when I react the way I want to, rather than how he needs me to react.

  11. Linda says:

    Really scary actually. Everyone should apologize (and if you do not do so naturally think there is an issue with you) but if you find yourself losing your cool on a 2 year old you need a different kind of help. An apology won’t fix what is wrong in your parenting. Think about it — if you were out shopping and saw someone yelling at a kid that age you would think they were an a hole right?

    Also apologies are not resets — that is what abusive people use them as.

  12. J. Ferber says:

    Has anyone ever gotten an “I never did that” when you bring up what a parent did that offended you in the past?

    • OliveFull says:

      Yes, all the time. Then I watch my Grandmother do it to my mother.

      My son is 4, I apologize to him if I lose my cool and I’ll admit if I’ve made a mistake, he usually laughs and says “we all make mistakes”

      I am not repeating the behaviour.

  13. Storminateacup says:

    I love Cameron’s vibe ever since she slayed all her male competitors on the speed lap on Top Gear years back. She was just so unassuming yet accomplished. I expected her mama vibe would be the same.She made jokes about having to live to a 100 because she chose to have a kid later in life. I’m Indo-Trinidadian and my boomer parents were the same no apologies just beats! I see a lot of my generation doing just the opposite now. We have to evolve away from that model of parenting especially given our history with slavery and indentureship. I show them that I’m human like them, I try my best for them and they understand that.