It’s the game where your goal is to go around the board and get all of your pieces in Home before the other players. If you land on someone else you get to say “SORRY!” in a sarcastic way showing everyone that you aren’t actually sorry… As a parent, I’m sure you have felt that way when you are coaching your child to apologize to their sibling, friend, or you.
You have felt that ache when their “Sorry” sounds more like the sarcastic game version than the sincere version you were hoping for. Why is it so hard to teach our kids to say sorry!?! This is a question that I have pondered through many of my parenting sessions, and I always come back to the best way to teach our kids to say sorry is by modeling it.
I know, I know, you’re thinking, “Meagan, I”m not the one who just threw a sucker punch/screamed for 5 minutes/called someone a mean name” …and I would say you are correct! After working with parents for many years and being a parent myself, I have learned that we may have not done those things, but we may have yelled instead of using our Parent voice after the 100th time saying “Hands are not for hurting.” Or ignored that really cool trick they were trying to show us, or took a phone call in the middle of their SO awesome story.
We can use these little things to show our kids what it’s like to apologize and say something like, “Hey kiddo, I’m sorry I was distracted, I’m ready to give you my full attention now.”
My parenting guru says “It’s not about what you do, it’s about what you do after what you have done.” AND I LOVE THIS!! It’s so good for so many things as a parent. And it gives us permission to not be perfect. In that imperfection, we are able to model apologizing and continue to show our kiddos that our relationship with them is always a priority. So next time you have the chance, take a deep breath and say you’re sorry! You will be teaching your kids SO much in those simple words.
Need more tips and tricks? Check out Meagan’s blog Play: The Language of Children.
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Meagan Jackson is our resident expert in all things parenting. She specializes in working with tough family relationships, and has over a decade of experience helping parents gain confidence in parenting. Contact us to schedule an appointment with Meagan today!