When Kids Don't Know How to Apologize, They Lack an Essential Social Skill
"I won't apologize to grandpa," yelled Connor."You can't make me."
"Why are you so stubborn?" yelled his mom.
Conner had just pointed to his grandfather and said,
"You don't know anything 'cuz' you're so old!"
His grandfather's ashen face and drooping eyes told Connor he had gone to far. Grandfather had left the room.
Now Connor's mother bugged him to apologize. But Connor wouldn't budge. He didn't know how to apologize. He didn't know how easy it is to learn the Apology Formula.
The Key to Apologizing
Imagine a key ring with a large silver key. "Apologize" is engraved on that key.
Learning to apologize can be the silver key to reopen doors to relationships with relatives, friends, and future colleagues when we've hurt them. All kids need to apologize sometime. Read on to find out how to teach your kids this important social skill.
How to Teach the Apology Formula for Kids:
1. A stack of 3" by 5" blank cards
2. The victim's name
3. The word "I"
4. The specific negative behavior
5. What the offender promises to do to change
What Connor dictated to his mom for his card:
Grandpa, I'm sorry for saying, "You don't know anything 'cuz' you're so old. I promise to talk to you with respect from now on."
Ask your kids to name the parts from the above 2-5 numbers in the following examples:
1. Mom, I'm sorry for hitting Lily. I promise to walk away next time she teases me.
2. Miss Smith (teacher), I'm sorry for not doing my homework. Next time I promise to do it before I play.
3. Victoria, I'm sorry for telling our class you flunked your test. I promise to say nice things about you from now on.
4. Ryan, I'm sorry for tipping your bike over. I promise to be more careful.
5. Dad, I'm sorry for scraping your car. I promise to work it off with the tasks you give me.
Listen. You'll need to make sure your kids are sincere. Tell them to mean what they say and to shake hands if the victim is willing.
Your Action Step for Teaching Kids Too Stubborn to Apologize:
1. At a family meeting ask them to think about something they regret doing and the family member they would like to apologize to.
2. Give each member a blank card to write their apology using the 5 part formula.
3. Have each person role-play their apology.
4. End each apology by shaking hands.
5. Remind them to use the Apology Formula whenever they need it.
Remember, you are giving them the silver key to repairing relationships now and in the future. You're building character too.
Let me know how it works for your family by commenting in the comment link below.
Please comment in the comment link below. Don't forget to add your email so I can send you 101 Jokes from Kids and for Kids. Imagine the laughter and the friends your kids will make with their fun sense of humor. Use these jokes at dinner time too.
With warm wishes,
Jean Tracy, MSS
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