My daughters are 3 & 5 years old…they argue, they bicker, they fight…and it makes me crazy. But not quite as crazy as the I’m sorry charade that follows. The forced insincere “sorry” coupled with the forced insincere “I forgive you”. No-one is really happier and I’m pretty sure (from the chance the offence will happen in the next 5 minutes) no one learned anything!
I just read A Better Way To Say Sorry, by cuppacocoa.com and here is a summary.
The 4 step Apology acknowledges these 4 things: What went wrong, Who was affected, How to change, & Asking for forgiveness.
It sounds like this:
1. “I’m sorry for…” Here the offender is specific about what made the other person upset.
Ex. Wrong “I’m sorry for being naughty.” Ex. Correct “I’m sorry for hitting you sister with the Barbie.”
2. “This is wrong because….” Show understanding about why it was wrong or hurt someone.
Ex. Wrong “This is wrong because mom is mad.” Ex. Correct “This is wrong because it hurt your cheek and made you cry.”
3. “In the future I will….” In a positive way tell what you will do next time.
Ex. Wrong “In the future I will not hit.” Ex. Correct “In the future I will use my words when I am frustrated or angry.”
4. “Will you forgive me?” Reminder that the other person has the choice to forgive or not, but chances are with these steps the answer will be yes.
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