Teaching Kids the Art of Apologizing
Kids make mistakes. Fighting and making up again is a big part of childhood. Teaching kids to be sorry isn't just a matter of making sure they say the right word, but also experiencing the right emotions. If your kid simply uses the word “Sorry” as a tool to get out of trouble, it's just a word. Here are 3 ways you can help your child understand the art of apologies.
Model good behavior
Adults mess up too. When you have made a mistake, apologize properly. Avoid using your apology as a way of blaming others (I'm sorry, but...) and show genuine remorse. Your children watch you, and model their behavior after you. Make sure it's good behavior.
Fix it if possible
If the mistake is a physical problem, fixing it is part of making amends. If your child drew on the walls, its her job to wash them until those marks are all gone. If he broke a toy, it's his job to fix it or earn the money for a new one.
Point out the emotions of others
The emotions involved in a mistake are many, and hard to sort out for young children. You can help guide their emotions by directing their attention to the hurt party, and how they must be feeling. This will teach them empathy, and help improve their social skills.
Saying you're sorry alone isn't good enough. Teach your kids how to truly experience apology to benefit them their whole lives.
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