Ways to Teach Your Child How to Apologize

Your child needs to know how to apologize. Apologizing helps a child accept responsibility for his or her actions, and it provides the child with a way to make things right. It helps to heal hurt feelings and to restore relationships. This lesson is instilled in children in preschool in Spring Hill, TN. Parents also have a responsibility to teach and reinforce this valuable lesson at home. Here are some ways to teach your child the right way to apologize.

Setting an Example

A parent can set an example for his or her child by apologizing. This can show the child that everyone makes mistakes, and that apologizing can make things better. For example, if you yell at your child because you’re having a bad day, apologize and explain that you’re sorry for your actions, you shouldn’t have taken out your anger on the child, and you’ll do better in the future.

Asking Questions

Rather than lecturing your child for his or her conduct, ask what caused the behavior. Ask the child why he or she acted in a certain way, try to make the child see how his conduct affected someone else, and give the child guidance on how to change the behavior. Rather than forcing the child to mouth the words, “I’m sorry,” let the decision to apologize be the child’s choice.

Starting Early

Toddlers, children aged 2 and 3, know that hugs can make things better if someone is hurt. Talk to your child about the conduct. When the child is ready, teach him to combine an apology with a hug.

Preschool Boy and Girl Hugging

Showing Sincerity

The apology needs to be sincere. Teach your child the meaning of an apology—an admission of wrongdoing and a desire to repair a relationship. The child needs to understand he or she is apologizing because what the child did or said was wrong and hurt someone. Simply having the child mouth the words may give the child the impression that all that’s necessary when he or she hurts someone is to say, “I’m sorry,” and move on.

Skipping Punishment

When your child does something that hurts another, skip punishment, and concentrate on how the child can make things right with the other person. A sincere verbal apology is a good start, but you should encourage the child to pair the apology with an act of kindness. Ask the child what he or she can do to make the hurt person feel better. For example, if a child breaks a toy of another child, the child can offer the other child one of his or her toys.

Seeking Forgiveness

When your child hurts someone’s feelings, teach the child to understand his or her actions, and seek forgiveness from the offended person. The child needs to learn that what he or she does or says can cause pain for another person. The apology process is not complete unless the offended person accepts the apology and agrees to put the matter to rest.

Recapping the Incident

After some time has passed, discuss the incident with your child. Ask the child how he or she could have acted differently. If the child understands how a sincere apology can make things right, he or she will learn an important lesson in personal relationships.

THE Children’s Academy has a loving and healthy environment for child care in Spring Hill, TN. Call our location in Franklin, TN, at (615) 790-2273 or in Spring Hill, TN, at (615) 302-0950.