Friday, March 12, 2010

Bad apologies

Have you ever heard an adult say to a child?

You apologize right now. I don't care if you don't mean it. You apologize.

Think about this.

What are we really saying to a child when we say that we don't care if they mean what they say? There is only one thing we are teaching children to do by saying this. And that is to lie.

Isn't that the definition of saying something and not meaning it?

Simply ordering children to apologize for something is not very effective at all. The best way to teach children how to apologize is to model it. Find reasons to routinely apologize to children in a meaningful way. As a father, I apologize to my daughter as often as I can. As a teacher, I apologize to my students too, and I have found modelling to yeild successful results from both my daughter and my students.


  1. I always tell my kids that "sorry" is a feeling. If you feel sorry and you want someone to know how you feel, you tell them you are sorry. But you never say "sorry" unless you feel it, because if you say sorry without feeling it, you are lying.

    We are on the same page on this, and I agree it is a very important point. Contrition is not saying sorry, it is being sorry.

  2. i think when adults get mad at you and tells you to apologize is liek us saying for them to apologize to the adult they wronged.

  3. i heard adaults say this. i think that just at that moment they feel offended, tehy just wanted that aplogize to comfort their feeling.

  4. i think when adults get mad at you and tell you to apologise regardless weather you mean it or not their just looking for the satisfaction of control and making sure that you're obediant because that gives them power.

  5. Ya, a apologie means nothing, unless they dont do it again. I think people apologize just to make a person who got hurt or something feel better.

  6. i think that if you do force someone to apologize to some nad you have to "make" them, i think they are really not learning i think if adults show thisd example to the littler kids, i think that when they older they will wait for someone to tell them to apologize

  7. I hear people say the thing "apoligize right now" and sometime they might not mean it, the adult is just telling them to say something so they do, and they could be lying.


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