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"Forced apologies" - Page 3

post #41 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by valgal View Post
That being said, it might be worthy to consider if one doesn't encourage or enforce an apology for a wrongdoing in a kid who presently doesn't feel remorse (and most likely won't due to their developmental capabilities) however will they learn appropriate social behavior?

And most often a kid won't feel remorse even if they can understand their behavior was wrong and warrants an apology. (Again a very development dependent thing) If we don't hold them accountable for doing the right thing in a time when they developmentally won't do it on their own (Kohlberg's moral development theory) again how will the learn the appropriate social behavior.
They'll learn by having that behaviour modelled. IMO, the question doesn't arise with respect to forced apologies, because I don't think that apologizing when you don't mean it is appropriate social behaviour. I realize it's widespread, but I don't think it's appropriate. Every time I was on the receiving end of a forced apology, I felt worse. Do we really want to teach our children how to "get out of jail free" by making someone else feel worse than they already do because of...whatever?
post #42 of 77
Way too much Psych is based on animal studies that do not apply to human behavior, because they do not account for such things as language and parenting style. A lot of theorists nowadays are recognizing that compelling children to do things against their will not only interferes with attachment, but just plain doesn't have the results they intend. And alarmingly, many of these so called experts do not have children. And if they do, those children are by necessity cared for largely by others. So I don't put too much stock in their opinions.
post #43 of 77
I have a super sensitive little guy. He has almost always been very remorseful if he has accidentally hurt someone. He's also very good about Please and Thank You, and I know that I can't take credit for all of this, much of it is his personality and some of it is DP and teaching by example. Frankly I have no idea how I would react if I ever asked DS "You knocked that little boy down when you were running past, can you go see if he is okay, and tell him you are sorry?" and he didn't jump to go see if the other kid was okay. I usually wouldn't ever need to finish the sentence. If he ever refused I *think* I would tell him that it made me sad he wasn't going to look out for others feelings and then go over and tell the child and other child's mother I was sorry he had been knocked over.
post #44 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by laoxinat View Post
Beautifully put! ITA! OT warning! Gosh, MF, have you been away or am I just : ? Your posts SO rock!
aww shucks
thanks
actually, I'm not around MDC much any more... less internet time at home, a new love in my life, focusing more on midwifery...
okay, back on topic now
post #45 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by majikfaerie View Post
aww shucks
thanks
actually, I'm not around MDC much any more... less internet time at home, a new love in my life, focusing more on midwifery...
okay, back on topic now
Majik's got a girlfriend, Majik's got a girlfriend......tee hee! Oh crap, yeeah, sorry back on topic...la la la la la la
post #46 of 77
you shush now
post #47 of 77
Thread Starter 
double post...forever later...
post #48 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyndimo View Post
I have to admit, we do "forced" apologies...
I see it as part of the lesson on manners - there are certain rules for things we say in certain cirucmstances, whether we really mean it or not.
When our body makes a noise (ie burp or fart), we say excuse me.
When we do something that makes someone say "ow", we say I'm sorry. (It doesn't matter if it was on purpose or on accident. So many older kids balk at saying sorry "because it was an accident")
I know that at 2.5yo, it's too young to expect real empathy. But I do think that at this age, he can understand that he needs to acknowledge that it was his action that caused the "ow".
We are now working on the rule that says if you are about to do something that you know will make someone say ow, don't do it.
FWIW - the only people he seems to practice the "sorry" rule and it's limits on are me and DP.
I've seen it as a way of "manners" as well...so that's what prompted my question (and we've been teaching it as a way of manners/consideration)...but now I'm rethinking it...or at least how I'm doing it...I like asking the child if the other child is ok stuff...I'm still processing!
post #49 of 77
Agree with almost everything the PPs have said. We didn't force apologies and I certainly wouldn't now ( dd is 18). A forced apology is useless IMO. I raised an internally motivated child. And she learned by example. I apologise to her when I have made a mistake. It's something I also encouraged dh to do since it's pretty clear he was raised in the forced apology household where I'm sorry makes everything ok and it's all supposed to be forgotten now like they are magic words. Not. He has learned over the years to be more internally motivated and and have genuine remorse, whereas before he just got mad anytime anyone was hurt and wanted to apologise and just forget about it.

Remorse is the foundation for an apology IMO. And it's also the foundation for change. Additionally I am not and did not raise a kid to just blindly do as she was told.
post #50 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by majikfaerie View Post
you shush now
Moi? :
post #51 of 77
I have an issue with forced apologies which I don't think has been addressed yet. DD really doesn't like being on the receiving end of them and it makes me really uncomfortable too.

A couple of things which have been really difficult to handle. First we were at a playground, DD went down the slide but had not yet got off the bottom (she likes to shuffle all the way to the end before getting off). A little boy (I guess 3 ish) was at the top and slid down into DD. He didn't hit her hard and she wasn't upset by it. Had roles been reversed I think I would have just asked the child if they were OK and reminded mine that they needed to wait till the slide was clear then move on. However the other mum was really insistent that the little boy say sorry, then both he and DD ended up crying. I didn't quite know how to handle it. I let the other mum know that DD wasn't hurt, these things happen but it was obvious she wanted him to say sorry. In the end I just said to DD it's time to go home.

Other occasions at playgroups where DD has been pushed/had a toy snatched and again she's not that bothered by it. However a lot of people want thier little ones to give her a hug to make her feel better. I guess this is when they are not yet very verbal. But DD is not keen on being hugged at the best of times, and defiantly not by the child who just pushed her over . I usually just say DD doesn't feel like a hug just now but again I just find it an uncomfortable situation.

I think for most people they want to be seen to be "doing something" when their little one is doing something "wrong" .
post #52 of 77
We do "forced apologies" in that we ask our boys to say sorry if they've hurt someone or if they have broken a rule. I think they are getting it and understanding. Sometimes they don't want to say sorry and we pretty much make them wait in time out until they say it.

But.... we do time outs very sparingly and sometimes we ask them to say sorry without a time out. We are very gentle in how we do time outs and we speak to them calmly and gently, and always end with hugs and reconciliation. We generally ask the children to say they are sorry, and it's part of our time out routine. I may ask the children to say sorry just as I would ask them to say please or thank you to another person. But it's not really forced in social settings as I don't use consequences if they don't. If they dont' say sorry, then I will say sorry instead.

I know a lot of adults, and a lot of adult men who basically never feel they have to say sorry to anyone. Adults sometimes should say they are sorry even if they don't feel sorry, sometimes it's about manners and getting along with others more than their own feelings.

My kids are loving and empathetic, they sometimes will show disappointment with themselves when they know they have done something wrong.

I can understand why some families don't feel it's a fit. We think it's been OK and don't see a negative effect on the kids. I don't have strong feelings about it that one way is right or wrong, I could see using it or not.

Our kids learned sign language for "sorry" along with please and thank you.
post #53 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swirly View Post
Also, I find forced apologies to be shaming.
I think it really depends on how it's done. It's one thing to calmly say "please say you're sorry" and another get physical, use a condescending tone, etc. etc. It depends on the intent of the person. I see a lot of kids get shamed in a lot of situations by parents who IMO have bad attitudes and are too easily embarassed by their kids, but it's not always like that.
post #54 of 77
I agree that forced apologies are shaming. And why in the world would anyone want a fake apology for the sake of "getting along". I much prefer having honest relationships.
post #55 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by KBecks View Post
Adults sometimes should say they are sorry even if they don't feel sorry, sometimes it's about manners and getting along with others more than their own feelings
FWIW, I do my best to avoid the company of anybody who I feel has offered me a false apology, for the sake of "manners" and I strongly disagree that adults "sometimes should" say sorry even if they don't feel sorry. I don't see apologies as being a manners issue, but a remorse issue. If someone has done or said something to me that hurt me, and they don't feel sorry, the sickening sugar coating of saying "I'm sorry" makes it worse, not better. I've mentioned this before in this thread. Being on the receiving end of a "manners" apology makes me feel worse. Is this what we want to teach our children - "go ahead and treat that person like crap, honey, but make sure you make it worse by offering a fake sorry afterwards, because that's polite"?

If someone tries to get along with me by saying sorry when they're not, then they've failed to get along with me. If I don't figure out that it's a fake apology, then we're in the realm of a relationship (be it friendship, co-worker, whatever) based on lies, and I don't go there.

IMO, saying "I'm sorry" if you're not is lying, pure and simple. It's not something I want to teach my kids, and I'm very uncomfortable around people who have learned it.
post #56 of 77
I was berated once for not FORCING my DS to apologize by a stranger once..it really took me by surprise! I have since thought it out and now I do make DS apologize when he hits. (he has always been a hitter) the hitting did not decrease though until I started doing forced apologies. and by forced apologies I mean I will tell him we "we are going to go say sorry to so and so and see if he/she is ok." it honestly doesn't matter to me if he says sorry himself or not but I try! if he won't apologize I will! but I will always go try to acknowledge the other child was hurt WITH him. so maybe not toally forced but kind of..there is no shaming involved at all. It's called learning to be accoutable for your own actions to me!!! it's NOT ok with me for DS to continue hitting other kids. removing him from the situation does nothing for us. talking about it and reasoning has not helped. it only took a couple of times with the apologies and DS started gaining a little more empathy IMHO. then again my kid has sensory issues so it's been a long road.
post #57 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I don't see apologies as being a manners issue, but a remorse issue.

Being on the receiving end of a "manners" apology makes me feel worse. .
Maybe it's an issue of some children and adults need to learn or be reminded of when it's appropriate to be remorseful.

Not everyone feels worse when apologized to. That's how you react. Sometimes I'm happy to hear an apology even if I don't buy that it's 100% heartfelt, at least the person is making some effort to reconcile a situation where there are hurt feelings.

Maybe it's how we think of a false apology. Some apologies are not -- it's in the tone of how the apology is offered.

We'll continue with reminding our children when it's appropriate to apologize and suggesting it to them at those times.
post #58 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by KBecks View Post
Maybe it's an issue of some children and adults need to learn or be reminded of when it's appropriate to be remorseful.
Probably. I do wonder what that has to do with forcing an apology.

Quote:
Not everyone feels worse when apologized to. That's how you react. Sometimes I'm happy to hear an apology even if I don't buy that it's 100% heartfelt, at least the person is making some effort to reconcile a situation where there are hurt feelings.
That's not true in the case of forced apologies. Someone is making some effort to avoid getting into trouble. IME, people who offer forced apologies will continue with their hurtful behaviour as soon as the person forcing the apology turns their backs. There is no effort at reconciliation involved. Honestly, the most hurtful people I've ever known have all either offered forced apologies (when I'm talking about kids) and/or offered "manners" apologies (some teens and several adults) as a free pass to continue behaving in a hurtful fashion.

Quote:
Maybe it's how we think of a false apology. Some apologies are not -- it's in the tone of how the apology is offered.
I certainly never said that all apologies are false. I've been on the receiving end of some very sincere, heartfelt apologies that went a long, long way towards clearing things up between me and the people involved. IMO, a forced apology is a false apology. If it's not false, then it wouldn't be forced in the first place.

Quote:
We'll continue with reminding our children when it's appropriate to apologize and suggesting it to them at those times.
That's great. I'm a little hazy as to what it has to do with forced apologies, though. I certainly discuss apologies with my kids (doesn't do much with ds2, of course - and it's still iffy with dd), and have been very pleased to see ds1 apologize in situations where it was very difficult for him to do so. I still refuse to force an apology.
post #59 of 77
IMO,
"You did X, say you're sorry right now or I'll punish you" = forced apology.
guiding a child to see what their actions have caused, and gently reminding them that an apology is appropriate, (without expectations) = guidance.
The difference is that the child has a choice. The child doesn't lose dignity or autonomy and she isn't coerced to lie for the sake of artificial social conventions.

I do believe that in many cases, people who were forced to apologize unsincerely as children grow up to resent the idea of making apologies, and as soon as they are free of their parental influence, forgo the whole concept of remorse. They associate the feeling of remorse with feelings of shame.

Not saying that happens every time, and I'm sure there will be some families this works for. It's just not something I could do myself.
I believe (and I see) that my child will learn to say sorry when she feels it, by having that behaviour modeled.
post #60 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by KBecks View Post
I think it really depends on how it's done. It's one thing to calmly say "please say you're sorry" and another get physical, use a condescending tone, etc. etc. It depends on the intent of the person. I see a lot of kids get shamed in a lot of situations by parents who IMO have bad attitudes and are too easily embarassed by their kids, but it's not always like that.

But what do you do when your child won't say it after you have told him to?

If you have never had them refuse, then you aren't really in the situation described. Suggesting that they apologize or pointing out when they should is not "forced apology". It is the next step of "say you're sorry or else <insert consequence>" that we don't do.
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