Friday, December 4, 2009

Say you are "sorry"

Say you are sorry. Ever hear those words? Parents often tell their children to say they are sorry when they do something "wrong." The only trouble is that as hard as it is initially for children to say them is inversely related to how much they mean them. In fact as it gets easy to say them children end up meaning them less. Parents need to keep in mind the basic principles of repentance. Can you say - Restitution! Saying "I am sorry" is not restitution. In fact, children's aggressive behavior actually increases if they learn that saying "I'm sorry," is a get out of jail free card. Keep thinking of what your child can do to make restitution and if that includes saying "I'm sorry," along with doing something else then it is to be encouraged. Keep in mind that children are concrete learners and they need to do something for it to mean anything.


  1. This is something I have often wondered about. Besides, if they aren't sorry, which can sometimes be the case with siblings, then why should they be told to lie about it also? I will work on restitution instead! Thank you!

  2. I like this comment. I had never thought of it as adding a lie on top of the indiscretion. We always made our kids give hugs, or say 10 nice things about the person you hurt. (In theory this works....actuality is a bit of a challenge!)

    My big beef is after someone say's "I'm sorry," you shouldn't say, "That's okay." Because it is NOT okay. It was wrong. It is better to say, "Thank you for saying sorry." etc.

    Any more info? Love ya! Jane

  3. You are 100% right Jane. Otherwise children think that the "That's OK meant that no harm was done or the behavior was not inappropriate.