Thursday, January 7, 2010

I'm sorry...for what?

One thing I'm really after my kids on is when they say sorry, I don't let them get away with just saying "I'm sorry". Then need to say "I'm sorry" and then say what they are actually sorry for. For example, if Owen hits Anna, I expect him to say "I'm sorry Anna for hitting you" (well, I actually rather have him not to be hitting in the first place, but let's have some realistic expectations here).

It's important that you teach your kids not to just say they are sorry but to actually acknowledge what they are sorry for. By doing so, it creates ownership to their actions. Not only is this a good lesson for kids to learn, parents, husbands, wives, friends...should do the same!

To get your kids to start saying what they are sorry for, just prompt them after they say sorry by reminding them "what are you sorry for?" or I just now say "for what" and they know what I mean. It's also good for them to acknowledge what they are sorry for so it starts to help them realize what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior and also to put words to their actions. Sometimes Owen will say "what am I sorry for" and we'll talk through what he did to determine what he needs to be saying sorry for. Even Anna, who's 2, will say what she is sorry for!

** After today's training time we tried to watch "Flo the Lyin' Fly" only to realize the DVD was we just practiced what a lie and a truth were.


  1. A way to takwe that a step further, have owen say something like, I am sorry Anna for hitting you. I was not_____" So then you could fill in the blank with I was not being careful, or I was not being kind, I was not being gentle, etc. That way you can help them to see to apologize even if it is an accident, or from being too rough, rather than sorry only being a result of meanness.
    I think it is also good for kids to accept responsibility for accidents. SInce usually they are a result of carelessness, or just not watching. But even if it wasn't done on purpose, they still need to be sorry.

  2. ah, great idea!!! Thanks for sharing and yes I agree that even with accidents everyone needs to accept responsibility for their actions.

  3. Oh, this is very difficult for a little girl I know -- to say sorry even if you didn't mean to do it. We actually ask forgiveness for things we do that we knew we shouldn't do (such as, I'm sorry X for hitting you. That was not being kind. Will you forgive me?) and we just say "I'm sorry for _______" if it was an accident. We may even say that too. or say something like "I'm sorry, are you okay? That was an accident..."