Fireflies: The Art of Saying "I'm Sorry"         

Feb 7, 2012

The Art of Saying "I'm Sorry"

Teaching Kids the Five Steps to Giving a Sincere Apology

1. Think about what you did wrong.
Get specific. Did you say something that hurt your friend’s feelings? Did you say something behind her back? What exactly are you sorry for?
2. Find the best time and place to apologize.
If you really, really can’t face your friend, you could write a letter to begin the apology process. Find a time when you won’t be interrupted and you can focus on telling the person your concerns.
3. Say what you’re sorry for.
Be brief, sincere, and honest. Say exactly what you did that you’re sorry for “I…..[fill in what you did]…and I’m sorry.” You might want to briefly describe what happened. Your friend may see it differently, so it’s a good idea to share your view of the problem.
4. Tell how you are going to make things better.
So what are you going to do about your actions? Tell your friend!  Just saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t necessarily fix things. Let your friend know what you plan to do t make things better.
5. Give your friendship time to heal.
Remember, you can’t make anybody do anything she doesn’t want to do. And that means you can’t make your friend accept your apology. All you can do it admit you’re wrong and try to make amends.
Practice, practice, practice these five steps at home so your child can use the skill in the real world.
Hint: Showing children a skill is always more powerful than telling them …so model asking for forgiveness.  Admit when you’re wrong and say, “I’m sorry!” to you kids.
Information from Dr. Michele Borba's Reality Check Blog.



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