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I personally am a person very quick to apologize, and so it is difficult for me to watch her be able to go on with her day "normally" without apologizing for something she has done/said. But like I said, I REALLY don't want to coerce an apology - iI feel its a bad lesson, I see kids do this all the time, and adults as well, and if its not heartfelt, its not an apology. I want her to WANT to apologize - because its the right thing to do - because it makes everyone feel better.
Any words of wisdom....?
If DD hurts someone, I first bring her attention to the behavior: "Ouch! That hurt Megan!"
Next, I show concern for the victim: "Megan, that must have hurt! Are you okay?"
After the "victim" is taken care of, I talk to DD about her behavior, asking if she is ready to help Megan feel better. If she is not, I try to reflect to DD what she must be feeling, get her side of it, etc. Then try again to focus on how the victim feels and how we can make things better.
It might be a long time later before DD is ready to deal with it. The victim might not even be present. But DD might be willing to do something for the person to give to her the next day, such as make a card saying she is sorry, or drawing a picture for the victim, or something that shows DD is interested in helping the victim feel better after having hurt her. I think its important to wait until she is ready to deal with what she has done, not force it before she is ready, and one way to get her ready is by making sure she is heard and her feelings are addressed.
By showing concern for the victim myself instead of forcing DD to do it, I feel less likely to be embarrassed in front of other parents because I am doing something (acknowledging that their child was wronged and helping their child to feel better and modeling for my DD what compassion looks like). Sometimes DD joins in while I am showing concern. I think it helps DD to be more "free" to process her response when she is not put on the spot and the attention is not on her for a few minutes.
^ This is what I believe sorry is, not a forced word or action.
In our house 'sorry' has three parts - acknowledging it, fixing it, and preventing it in the future.
The first step is easily taken care of. The child has to realize what she did and how it hurt the other person! "Oh, John's cup! I broke it!" or
"Oh, look - I wonder how John is going to feel."
"Mad at me."
Then fixing it:
"How can we help him feel better?"Brainstorm together and come up with a solution or two, acting on it.
Then preventing it:
"Here's a pillow you can hit when you get angry. Do you want to help me make an angry corner to calm down in?" And work on verbal techniques to calm down.
Anothermama, I don't like forcing a child to say they are sorry. Whatever feelings they had, you just stole them and replaced with resentment and embarassment, or leaving a void because they don't own the problem - you do. You take it away and with that you take away the responsibility and personal growth that might have come with it. You take away the confidence they could be growing to deal with a problem effectively.
Saying 'sorry' doesn't get anyone too far. It's the actions that surround that word that mend our relationships.
K's mama, I do think at this age that acknowledging it with you alone is a perfect introduction, but I love BellinghamCrunchie's suggestion of a card or something of that sort to show how she feels to the nanny.
|I think that would have probably been a lot more painful, and is maybe why sometimes people do force a child to apologise. It's not for the hurt child it's for the other adults...|
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