I never force my children to say “I am sorry.” It seems contrived and to lack sincerity to force them. How to teach a child to apologize is not easy any way you approach it.
I get the same eye rolls when I tell people that I don't force my children to share. You see, I want my boys to mean it and to choose to apologize from their heart, not from my force. This approach is not an easy task. So I was thrilled when I read Amy McCready's “How to Teach Kids to Say Sorry” post earlier this week.
Teaching Children to Apologize
I am very fond of the “re-do”. Kids know when they are in the wrong. Furthermore they often know how to “do right”. In our home I say, “I am going to let you try that again.” For example, if my son grabs a train from his brother and conflict ensues, I won't intervene until there is a hit or a push, which occurs every so often (sometimes they actually work things out on their own, which is beautiful to observe). At that point, I intervene and say: “Let's rewind. I am going to give a chance to handle that situation differently.” Often (definitely not always) my sons will say: “Are you ok? I was mad because you took my train. When I am done you can use it.” If that doesn't happen then I guide them.
What about you? Do you force your kids to apologize?
Thanks for reading.