Did you find your child not ready to say sorry when he or she is mistaken? Is your child not ready to accept his mistake and apologize for it? I am sure most parents go through this phase at some point in their child’s life. We often question ourselves, are we doing things right? Am I raising a humble child? Most certainly, you are! Out of many reasons why it can be happening the developmental stages your child goes through can make him behave in a certain way. However, there are many ways to teach your child to be apologetic when he or she is mistaken. Teaching your child to be apologetic is crucial in raising responsible and humble adults.
Why do we apologize to someone? When we are mistaken and have hurt someone else’s feelings. We say sorry and make up for it in any way we can. So understanding that your behavior has impacted someone is the first step in realizing and apologizing. How can we teach kids to apologize? Can parents help build good manners in children by teaching them to say sorry when it’s their mistake? Yes! You can! A few ways you can make this happen are listed below.
How Can You Teach Your Child To Be Apologetic
“Saying Sorry” needs to be normal practice at home
Do you say “Sorry” to your child when you are mistaken? Do you take responsibility for your mistakes in front of your child? Has your child ever seen you say sorry to someone when it is your mistake? It is important to model apologetic behavior at home so that you can normalize apologizing in your household. You need to help your child build a habit of accepting his mistake and say sorry when he is mistaken.
It is important that you teach the child to feel embarrassed or have any negative feelings about saying sorry to someone. Parents are the best teachers a child can ever learn the best things from. Your child thinks my mama and papa are saying sorry to me when they are wrong. Consequently, the child will say sorry when he is mistaken. I believe that I want to treat my child the same way I want to be.
Please make sure you apologize only when you are mistaken.
Help understand and own up to mistakes to teach your child to be apologetic
When I say sorry to my child, I tell him the reason why I apologized. I talk about how he feels. I ask him for ways to make up for it. Sometimes even a hug and kiss after saying sorry is enough for him to feel better. Help your child understand why one says sorry to someone. Understand that you have made this mistake and how when we hurt someone it can make them feel bad. We are human beings and things happen. It is okay to be mistaken and it is even better to accept our mistake and apologize.
Go over what happened
Ask your child to go over something that happened. Review scenarios with him. How if we had done things differently, the outcomes would have been different. For parents, this step is really important because you should not be jumping to conclusions and making your child apologize without hearing his or her side. This can make your child feel unimportant. Talk to your child and hear his sides. Encourage your child to talk. When reviewing many times, you will find your child only telling you that I went wrong here. Sometimes, he will realize things on his own too. Reviewing the situation is a great way of teaching your child to apologize. Possibly there will be a reason behind your toddler’s behavior and the toddler’s fear of something.
Provide Consequence rather than punishment to teach your child to apologize
If it is a serious mistake like hurting someone physically, you can provide some consequence rather than a punishment. Yes! I prefer consequence because that way your child will understand that this has happened because I behaved this way. Punishment does not sit well with children. It triggers tantrums, whining, and meltdowns. A lot of negativity and weird feelings are related to punishment. Offer a few consequences like taking away a favorite toy for a few days or giving up a certain privilege. I have seen children react better to consequence than punishment
Try to make up for it
Help your child understand that you need to make up to someone you have hurt. Firstly, you can help your child understand that the person is sad or crying because he hurt them. How would you feel if somebody did the same thing to you? Most children understand this concept and immediately realize how the person is feeling. Now ask your child to help make up for it. Only saying sorry is not enough, it is important to make up for it in your way. Initially, you might have to offer options, but soon you will find your child offering choices to the person asking for making up to it. I have seen my son do it. This is a crucial step in teaching your children to apologize.
“Apologies aren’t meant to change the past, it is meant to change the future.”Kevin Hancock
Teach about forgiveness to teach your child to be apologetic
When we say sorry, the person who has been hurt may not necessarily forgive us. It is also important to ask for forgiveness. If children learn about forgiveness and apologies from the beginning, it becomes easier for them as they grow up. Children are very forgiving and it is important to teach the importance of forgiveness. What better way to do it than practically? When you hurt someone, say sorry and ask for forgiveness. I suppose if your child is saying sorry to his best friend, he will be forgiven within minutes. Similarly, your child will be equally forgiving with his closest people. Let’s help foster this forgiving nature.
Avoid grudgeful behavior
Many times, you will find your child saying sorry just because you asked him ( more like pressured him) to say it. I say pressure because we are normally hurt when our children behave in hurtful ways and we want them to immediately make up for it. However, this is not a realistic case. Sometimes, kids take time to apologize. They may not immediately understand that it is their fault. Sometimes, if the mood is not right, they may outright refuse to say sorry and foster grudgeful behavior just because you made him do certain things he was not willing to do.
So it is crucial to understand your child’s temperament especially in cases like this. You will know best what goes through to your child. Make sure you do it in a rather convincing way and help them avoid grudgeful behavior towards anyone. Avoiding grudgeful behavior is an important step to teach your kids to apologize. Our children are like ships, sometimes they sail through calm waters and sometimes through turbulent waters. We need to be there to guide them through these emotions. It is most necessary to nurture your child’s emotional health.
Read books about apologetic behavior for teaching children to apologize
Reading books can do wonders. I am sure most parents do just agree with me. You want to teach your child about something, bring in books around that subject. Children don’t even realize you are trying to teach them something through these books. While reading books, children accept everything subconsciously. They remember everything they read in a book. Most often you will find your child stating examples from the books. You can find great books about being apologetic and accepting mistakes on amazon.
Storytelling and role-playing to teach your child to be apologetic
Something children love is storytelling sessions and role-plays or pretend play. Why not involve and address these important issues in the stories. Inculcate the ideas you want to teach your child into stories and pretend play. It is the best and fun way of learning for children. It can be fun for parents too. Sometimes you take up the role of a person who has been hurt. Also, encourage your child to be the one who gets hurt and encourage your child to talk about how he feels when he is hurt.
In conclusion, I would love to say that teaching your child to apologize is crucial and very simple. Since in the above ways you can be realizing how your child feels about the situation and help him be responsible for his or her actions. You can do all this while considering your child’s emotions and temperament. You can find special solutions to how you can handle your child in such situations because you know your child the best.
Amazing Article on “Ways to Teach Your Child The Joy Of Giving”.