Teaching your kids the art of saying sorry

As a mother, I have always tried to teach my boys that saying “I’m sorry” and meaning it is one of the most powerful tools they have in their back—pockets for things they may or may not have done wrong.

My motto is always as follows …

You cannot go back and change what you did to hurt another person. You can’t change the choices (good or bad) you’ve already made. You can, however, be sorry for your choices and for hurting someone and you can apologize to them from your heart. Whether they forgive you or not won’t change what happened. But it will change knowing that you were sorry for hurting someone or doing something you know that you shouldn’t have. And, that is my book is the only way we learn how to grow as human beings.

How To Teach Your Kids To Say Sorry

Admit when you are wrong – admitting you are wrong is the first step to teach kids how to say sorry and truly mean it. Not meaning it means they learn to lie about their feelings. That’s never good. So being sorry from your heart is the way to go.

Putting the shoe on the other foot – a great lesson for kids to try to understand is how their actions make someone else feel. I always try to get my boys to put the shoe on the other foot. By asking them how they would feel if what they did was done to them helps them connect not just to the action of their choices made but the emotional effect their actions have on others.

Taking a teaching opportunity – when problems arise, it’s always a great opportunity to teach our kids right from wrong. Asking your kids “What could you have done differently” forces them to not just look at their actions, but create a problem-solving scenario that gets them thinking about the options of choices available for their behavior and taking responsibility for their actions.

Teaching kids to be sorry teaches them forgiveness. They may not be forgiven by others for their actions or words, but they will learn to forgive themselves which is a gift in itself.

No matter what we do in this life, as parents it’s our job to teach our kids to feel empathy for others, be responsible for their own actions and take that responsibility seriously.

So teaching the art of “being sorry” goes a long way to helping our kids become more confident, loving, responsible, educated adults.  And, that is really what it is all about.  Isn’t it?

How do you help your children feel sorry for things they have done?