Isn’t it nice for your child to say sorry on their own? There are many times we force our kids to apologise to someone, whether to their siblings, elders or strangers. Oftentimes, your kids cry due to the pressure and stress of the situation.
Fortunately, child experts say that there are ways to make them want to apologise on their own without leaving them discouraged and deflated.
Here’s why forcing your kid to apologise won’t work
The primary intention of parents in forcing their kids to apologise is to teach them compassion and empathy, and that when you hurt someone, they should feel bad about it and say sorry to the person genuinely. Note that the keyword is “genuine”.
Hence, if you force children to say sorry, they will not understand the behaviour and situation they made, which will come out later on in their adult life.
When your kids grow up, you won’t be there to pressure them to apologise anymore and they may be left in doubt about when to say sorry to someone because they are confused.
Child psychologists said that don’t aim for your children to apologise, teach them to feel authentic remorse instead.
By doing that, you are also nourishing your kid’s emotional intelligence as understanding emotions for them can be really difficult.
Ask them if they want to apologise, not force them
“How do you feel about what happened? Do you like to say sorry? All of us apologise when we feel bad about something and sorry is the way we communicate it. Do you want to try?”
By using the given narrative, you can help your kid learn the whole concept of apologising rather than just authoritatively forcing them to repeat the word ‘sorry’ because dad or mom said so.
Teach them to apologise, give an example
“Do you want me to help you apologise? I’ll use it for you: sorry if you feel bad about what happened and everything will be okay. Does it feel good when you heard that? Do it to others as well.”
Your kid may be feeling shame so reassuring them that their feelings are valid and normal may help them understand the situation.