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#61 of 77 Old 04-02-2008, 02:05 PM
 
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"There is also something I've noticed about some adults who, as children, were shamed into making apologies . . . often grow up to be adults who will NOT admit that they are ever wrong. Either they are so filled with shame when they make mistakes, that they cannot bear to lose face and admit they did something wrong."

Am on a real learning curve here. That quote describes my beloved, who incidentally never remebers being apologised to as a child, when he was wronged by an adult. He has no problem saying sorry when he forgot to put the bin out (nope, it's not exclusively his job but he seems to feel compelled to apologise anyway) or left the roasting pan in he oven for week (yuuuckkk) but he he has said something that has upset me - evne tho he didn't mean to upset me, he has a real hard time apologizing - which leads me to try to force an apology, which makes him baulk at it even more which . . you get the picture! But we have found a way around it which maybe you guys are teacing your kiddos. He will do something to apologize instead - a flower from the garden, making me a cup of ground coffee, things like that.
I on the other hand, tend to over-apologise.
I guess we're like a pair of 30 something toddlers learning these things.

One thing I did think funny was when l'il un, having following me out to the bin in the dark, accidentally stepped on next door's dog's paw. He yelped and ran down the yard. She ran after him, apologised and tried to hug him (He is, thankfully, a very placid animal).
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#62 of 77 Old 04-02-2008, 05:34 PM
 
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I don't really have time to read everyone else's responses, so at the risk of sounding redundant, here is my opinion:

Forcing an apology teaches a child to say something they may not mean, aka: LIE. Apologies, to me, are like thank yous, pleases and so forth. The best way to teach a child to have good manners, sympathy, empathy, etcetera is to MODEL IT. Toddlers, IMO, have a knack for not wanting to do what they are FORCED to do. However, if I say please, thank you, I'm sorry, bless you, etcetera in the appropriate situations, I have found that my DS observes and learns my actions, just as he picks up all of the negative aspects of my personality...the things I try to HIDE! I teach through modeling (or trying to, that is) what I perceive to be good behaviour and good manners. If he is not sorry for something I would hate to make him lie. That, IMO, is setting a horrible precedent for the future.

Just my .02 worth!

HTH
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#63 of 77 Old 04-02-2008, 09:38 PM
 
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In our family we ask people to 'make things right' if someone gets hurt. That can mean checking of they are okay, apologizing, or doing something to make amends or seek reonciliation. It goes just as much for dh and I as for our children. If someone accidentally hurts someone else we still ask them to apologize - they can say they didn't see the other person, or it was an accident or whatever -we are just asking them to acknowledge the other person's hurt and their part in it. We also ask everyone to say "Thank you" when they receive an apology. It often isnt easy to make things right - especially if you meant to hurt the other person and as my children have grown older, they can take revengeful delight in ignoring someone else's apology - setting off a whole new chain of unpleasantness : The thank you does not equal "I forgive you" - it just acknowledges that the reconciliation process has begun. It really seems to help. My children are 8-11 and they are capable of doing this and appreciate it when they are treated with courtesy and like how they feel when they treat otehr people with courtesy.
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#64 of 77 Old 04-02-2008, 09:55 PM
 
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I don't feel this is an all or nothing thing. There are a few nuances.

If a child is cruelly shamed into apologizing and nothing is explained on their level, they take nothing from it that will help in the future.

We do make our kids apologize, but we also use logic and empathy teaching either right then or afterwards, depending on the situation.

They also have to look the other person in the eye and "genuinely apologize." No avoidance and sarcastic apologies.

The reason we do this -- and perhaps it's because my kids are older and one is special needs, so I have perspectives others may not -- they need accountability and to show respect and peace to other people.

They may not take that particular apology to heart, but we discuss the need to RESPECT other people and those other people deserve an apology whether we want to or not. We teach them empathy and we discuss accountability and eventually it all sinks in.

I also use the opportunity to show them they're worthy when I stand up for them. If I see the other person or child is wrong as well, I call them on it. Depending on the situation I also ask them for an apology. I explain why their actions were hurtful to my child, etc. This teaches the kids to verbalize their anger, fear or annoyance instead of doing something "wrong."

I truly feel the way I am teaching them makes them more likely to be forthcoming with genuine apologies when they're wrong. Like how I genuinely apologize to them, to my husband, to my sales clerk or anyone else in front of them. It takes a lot of guts to genuinely apologize to someone and admit you're wrong. I think they will mirror my behavior and I have SEEN the olders mirror me already.

FYI: When the child receives an apology, they have the option of saying "apology accepted" or verbalizing how they feel they're not ready yet. Because an apology is great, but just because we apologize for something, it doesn't erase the wrong that was done and all is forgiven and forgotten. SO many times they would do something to a brother and say, "oh sorry!" and go on their merry way when the brother was still reeling from the wrong. So we slow them down a bit and to "genuinely apologize" is to look them in the eye and be sure the other person is okay.

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#65 of 77 Old 04-03-2008, 12:30 AM
 
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Just finished reading through everyone's replies & just had to say thanks, this has been a really informative thread for me.
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#66 of 77 Old 04-03-2008, 02:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by GinaRae View Post
We do make our kids apologize, but we also use logic and empathy teaching either right then or afterwards, depending on the situation.

They also have to look the other person in the eye and "genuinely apologize." No avoidance and sarcastic apologies.
May I just ask what you mean by "genuinely apologize"? I don't understand how it can be genuine when you're making them do it.

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#67 of 77 Old 04-04-2008, 02:16 AM
 
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I explained it already - I won't argue about this, but I'll give a quick synapsis. I teach them what a genuine apology looks like and feels like and why. They learn, they mirror, and they become genuine. Much like I am teaching the baby how to sign for milk when all he wants is a nipple in his mouth at that moment. I don't understand why parents are not teaching their kids empathy and boundaries and just expecting them to understand that they cannot hurt someone and not have consequences.

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#68 of 77 Old 04-05-2008, 01:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by GinaRae View Post
I explained it already - I won't argue about this, but I'll give a quick synapsis.
I'm not trying to argue. I just don't get it. Genuine apologies and forced apologies, imo, cannot be the same thing. I'm getting what you're saying about what a genuine apology looks like (although I don't 100% agree, as a genuine apology is going to look different, depending on the person making it, the person receiving it, and the circumstances). I just don't get how anyone can make someone else give a genuine apology.

If you mean, as I'm getting from your last post, that it has to look genuine, then I get it.

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#69 of 77 Old 04-05-2008, 01:04 AM
 
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*triple post*

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Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

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#70 of 77 Old 04-05-2008, 01:47 AM
 
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*triple post*

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

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#71 of 77 Old 04-05-2008, 02:43 AM
 
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We don't do forced apologies either. Neither does my girls' preschool and I am so thankful for that.

We teach the kids about empathy through our own actions and model for them what we should do when we hurt someone.

When they hurt someone else or do something, we help the hurt child confront the "hurter" with words and feelings. We help them communicate and talk through it. The parent/adult will often offer their own apology "oh susie, I am sorry that you got hurt. i know that didn't feel good." We ask the "hurter" what do you think you should do to help susie? There are many different ways to teach a child empathy without asking them directly to apologize or forcing them to do so.

It has worked with our girls beautifully. My 3 year old often comes up and apologizes to me when she sees that I am frustrated because someone smooshed playdoh onto the carpet or I accidentally got hit with a stray airplane
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#72 of 77 Old 04-07-2008, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by KBecks View Post
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.
Thank you for your response!
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#73 of 77 Old 04-07-2008, 01:22 PM
 
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I agree that teaching empathy and compassion is much more valuable to a child's overall interaction with the world. I don't like the idea of forcing apologies either...but I think expecting an apology teaches a kid responsibility and manners.

I've seen forced apologies work over time with kids who are given consistent direction and explanation.

I'm not opposed to them, if they're done with explanation, guidance, and love. I think it works!
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#74 of 77 Old 04-07-2008, 01:56 PM
 
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IMO it is meaningless to make a child SAY they're sorry if they're not sorry. Doesn't teach anything I'm interested in teaching.

I'm much more interested in teaching empathy so that my child will actually BE sorry if they do something that hurts someone else. So we talk a lot about how the other person feels when something goes wrong. Sometimes she gets it, sometimes she doesn't. But little by little she is moving to a place where she can put herself in someone else's shoes without prompting.

A forced apology is meaningless. IMO it's much worse to have a glaring, obviously NOT sorry kid mumble "sorry" than just to move on at that time.

-Angela
I agree that a forced apology is rarely sincere, but , after we speak about what the other person might be feeling after being treated that way, or after how the child might feel if they were treated the same, I often say "what would you like someone to say to you if you were the one who got hurt?" And this often prompts them to remember to apologize. What is other people's opinions on this? If I am reminding them, is it still forcing the apology? I mean, kids, especially those old enough to understand this message, but young enough to still forget things regularly, often benefit from reminders about lots of things-should apologizing be different? (I am asking honestly) I hope I am not just unintentionally causing my kids to think they can be insincere and all is well! AHHH!!
On a slightly different note, when my kids receive an apology from anyone, I have taught them that they should say "thank you" if they are thankful for the apology, but too angry to "accept" it and let bygones be bygones, or "I accept your apology" if they are. Does that make sense? Anyone have an opinion on that?
Thanks
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#75 of 77 Old 04-07-2008, 03:45 PM
 
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I don't ever force it, but I suggest it, along the lines of, "Can you think of anything that might make X feel better?" (We've talked about saying you're sorry helps, and also how asking the other person what you can do helps.)

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#76 of 77 Old 04-07-2008, 07:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by aghiofog View Post
I agree that a forced apology is rarely sincere, but , after we speak about what the other person might be feeling after being treated that way, or after how the child might feel if they were treated the same, I often say "what would you like someone to say to you if you were the one who got hurt?" And this often prompts them to remember to apologize. What is other people's opinions on this? If I am reminding them, is it still forcing the apology? I mean, kids, especially those old enough to understand this message, but young enough to still forget things regularly, often benefit from reminders about lots of things-should apologizing be different? (I am asking honestly) I hope I am not just unintentionally causing my kids to think they can be insincere and all is well! AHHH!!
On a slightly different note, when my kids receive an apology from anyone, I have taught them that they should say "thank you" if they are thankful for the apology, but too angry to "accept" it and let bygones be bygones, or "I accept your apology" if they are. Does that make sense? Anyone have an opinion on that?
Thanks
I agree with this, and it's what I use as a parent. I think it teaches manners, and also empathy and forgiveness.
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#77 of 77 Old 04-07-2008, 07:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
I don't ever force it, but I suggest it, along the lines of, "Can you think of anything that might make X feel better?" (We've talked about saying you're sorry helps, and also how asking the other person what you can do helps.)
Maybe "suggest" and "remind" are more accurate words than "force." It's not like I ever say, "Say you're sorry or else."
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