Sorry, not sorry: Tips on teaching your kids to apologise


APR 2, 2023
Elisa Chia


When a nine-year-old boy was asked to apologise to his friend for saying something hurtful, he did so but then threw in a vulgarity.

Ms Josephine Loh from Morning Star Community Serbest jordan 4s nike air max 90 nike air max terrascape 90 men’s shoes customize jersey baseball glueless wigs best human hair wigs customized jerseys nfl jersey shop best sex toy cheap lace front wigs custom jerseys sex toys vibrators youth baseball jerseys customized jerseys top couples sex toys vices cites the case as an example of forcing a child to say sorry when he has not calmed down.

The senior manager for training in the family wellness division conducts workshops, including for parents.

Even as mums and dads become role models who apologise when appropriate, they also need to guide their children on how to do it well and sincerely. This includes not forcing kids to apologise when they are not ready or still agitated.

Another common mistake is that parents say sorry on behalf of their young ones.

“The children may learn to not take responsibility for their words and actions because ‘My parents will bear the consequences,’” Ms Loh adds. Over time, they learn to push the blame to their parents.

Kids should learn to be specific about what they are apologising for, such as “I’m sorry for calling you a big sucky liar”, not “for calling you names”, say authors Marjorie Ingall and Susan McCarthy.

In their book Sorry, Sorry, Sorry: The Case For Good Apologies, they write that kids have to understand the impact of their actions and try to make amends.

Parents should tell them that apologies are acts of strengths and they understand how difficult this is. Praise the children for doing so, even if parents had to drag it out of them, they add.

For pre-schoolers, read with them picture books about saying “I’m sorry”.

Here are three classic titles that they recommend. These are available at leading book retailers and public libraries.

• Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton

• I Am Extremely Absolutely Boiling by Lauren Child

• David Gets In Trouble by David Shannon


This article was originally published in The Straits Times on 2 April 2023

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