As early as possible, I teach children the word Sorry has little or no value.
Sorry is not the “get out of trouble” card,
It does not absolve all wrongs.
Sorry is not amnesia inducing word.
It can not make difficult situations go away.
Sorry can not be used to distract from ill intent, loss of control, or bad judgment.
Instead of saying sorry, I expect two responses to two questions:
Which part do you think I have a problem with?
What can you differently next time?
When used improperly, sorry is a means to avoid or end the conflict quickly. It is the speediest way out of an uncomfortable situation. It requires little reflection. No one truly grows. Answering the two questions requires self-awareness, reflection, and perspective taking. This conversation allows for maturity and responsibility to occur. The mistake leads to an authentic dialogue between two parties.
So stop letting ‘sorry’ take the blame. Have your child step up to acknowledge misbehavior and commit to a new strategy moving forward.
Upward and onward.