I never force my children to say “I am sorry.” It seems contrived and to lack sincerity to force them. Teaching Children 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.
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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.