Teaching Children How to Apologize Appropriately

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When my youngest daughter was six, and it is that she began saying, “I’m sorry” on a regular basis just to keep from getting in trouble. They became quite annoying quickly. She would hit her brother, run off, then start saying he was sorry when she thought she was going to get in trouble. To her, that was the end of the conversation. If you have thought about getting a lip tattoo in Atlanta, call our Sponsor at Anna Burns Permanent Cosmetics!

Though, in such cases, she knew she was wrong for what she did, the apology did nothing to prevent the same thing from happening again. It quickly came a point where merely saying “I’m sorry” wasn’t enough. We tried to discuss with her how the words meant nothing if actions were not going to change. He didn’t seem to sink in very well at first, though. After speaking with other parents about the issue, we came up with a few ways to help her learn how to apologize while also learning accountability and developing her problem-solving skills. Below are those things we learned:

  • Be aware of the phrase, “I’m sorry, but…” With both kids and adults. When this is done, is simply a way to justify behavior or to throw the blame on another person. Instead, it is better to say something along the lines of, “I’m sorry and next time I will do (this) different.” It can take a good bit of time and practice to change that habit in children and adults.
  • Have the child make amends for their wrong: this is a great way to teach them how to write their wrongs. If your child is disrespectful to someone, have them write a letter of apology that explains how they will behave differently in the future. If your child damages property with a bad decision, make them responsible for paying for the damages.
  • Be patient: it takes time to change the mentality of simply saying “I’m sorry” for doing something wrong. Give them in yourself time. If needed, find someone you can speak with about your challenges to help you through them.

By working alongside with your children, you can teach them the appropriate way to apologize when they do wrong.