Apologies are tricky, aren’t they?
When our preschooler hurts a friend’s feelings, our toddler grabs a toy out of another toddler’s hand, or a young child physically pushes another child down, as parents we usually want them to say “I’m sorry” – to make it okay, right then and there.
But often at the same time, we are disheartened by the lack of sincerity these apologies take. You know what I mean – the “no eye contact, long- drawn- out, mumbled ‘Sorry'” or even the adamant silent refusal of the still-too-angry-child.
That was the case with one parent I spoke with recently. When her young children argued and fought, apologies were hard to come by. However, recently her 5-year-old daughter, after angrily ruining something that belonged to her 3-year-old brother – on her own – after she had cooled down – wrote him an apology note.
These are the “yay!” moments we look for in our parenting journey – when we have the chance to witness and celebrate the emotional growth in our children that we have modeled and shown in our everyday interactions with them and others in our life.
For caring for people’s feelings, showing respect for others, sharing, apologizing – all of these are more often “caught than taught”.
So … high five for this mom. Good throw!