Let’s admit it, most people aren’t very good at apologizing…especially kids. We teach them to talk like a robot reminding them “what do you say?” Apologizing is simply something you are supposed to do when you do something wrong. However, apologies are pointless unless people feel that the offender meant it. This can be tone of voice or even body language.
I had read about a formula for apologizing that I thought was good. I don’t know who the original creator of it is. It’s starts out with:
1) I’m sorry for – “I’m sorry for hitting you when you took my toy” It’s important to be specific and not just a broad “I’m sorry”. The child needs to understand what they are apologizing for.
2) This is wrong because – “I could have hurt you when I hit you”. They need to understand the reason why it’s not acceptable or why it is wrong.
3) In the future, I will – “Ask you nicely to have my toy back”. It is really important for the child to learn how to do it correctly. what are they learning from this?
4) Will you forgive me? – Be prepared they could say no, but at least ask. This helps restore the relationship.
I think for many situations, this formula can work…especially with young kids.
The most important thing is to lead by example. You need to apologize when you do something wrong and your kids need to see and hear it. This is the best way for them to learn.
While I like the formula, I would add some elements to it that i think are important. for example
1) You must have Empathy. I think empathy needs to be deployed all around. As the parent, the offender was feeling …