When you look at the dictionary meaning of “Forgive”, it says (verb) and means to “stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake”.

But the 3-year old kid’s version will win your heart.

what is forgiveness

We came across this mom and blogger, Mary Katherine Backstrom, who runs a Facebook page of the same name where she discusses the nuances of life through the lens of motherhood. In her bio on social media, she mentions that “And by “important” I mean anything from coffee creamers to pending legislation.”

On July 12, this mother posted one of the touching conversations with her baby girl about forgiveness which will not only melt your hearts but blow your mind as well.

While we live in a world that is coated with hatred and violence, and we need speeches and conferences and even books to make us understand the value of forgiveness and acceptance, what to do and what not to do; it seems that this child can give us a master class and a chance so that we can relearn our concept of forgiveness. So, what’s new about this one? She has picked up a few innocent words to sum up the meaning of forgiveness.

Check out this viral post that was shared 114k times and has 7.6k comments which are also filled with messages of gratitude. Someone commented, “My heart has a tummy ache from reading this because it’s so sweet.”

You can read the full post here:

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 said “I love you, Holland, but not another word tonight. You are going to sleep now. I’m done fussing over stuffed animals.”


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 away from her face.

“Mommy,” my three years old said, staring me down with venom in her tiny voice…


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 cuss words.

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 three-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 in anger. 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.

When we keep our minds open, we all can learn so much from everyone around us. Let’s learn to unlearn to learn again.