Do you children struggle to make sincere apologies? Do you feel like your child only says sorry to avoid talking about the problem? Do you wish you had strategies to support your children to make thoughtful apologies? Do your children struggle to “own” their mistakes?
Students are learning that when they have done something that hurts another person’s feelings or results in negative consequences for another person, they need to apologize. Here are the steps that students have learned to use when making an apology:
1. Look at the person. It shows confidence.
2. Use a serious, sincere voice.
3. Say what you are sorry about. Say, “I’m sorry I said that” or “I’m sorry I didn’t listen to what you said” or “I want to apologize for…”
4. Make a follow-up statement and explain how you plan to do better in the future.
Say, “Is there any way I can make it up to you?” or “It won’t happen again.”
5. Thank the person for listening (even if the person did not accept your apology).
Even though making an apology is difficult to do, students are learning it is important to apologize because it shows sensitivity to others’ feelings and it also increases the chances that other people will be careful of their feelings in return. Apologizing is also an important skill for parents to reinforce at home because it helps children take responsibility for their mistakes.
If your child needs to apologize to another family member at home, ask them to follow the steps of the apology. Help your child to focus on what they will do better in the future. Apologizing is a way for children to reflect on their mistakes and learn from them. If your child is able to give a sincere apology, praise them and celebrate their success!
Thanks for supporting our Well Managed Schools curriculum at home. If you want more support in teaching social skills, please visit: http://www.parenting.org/