Do make the explanation short and straightforward. Here are a few sentences.
- You say sorry when you have poorly behaved with your friends have lost or broken something belonging to someone else.
- You have hit your friend, brother or sister, and they are hurt.
- You have done something you were not supposed to do, and it has made the other people like a friend or mom or dad or grandparents or anybody sad.
- You have fought or broken their toys.
- You have lied.
- You chose to break a rule at home or school. This is for a kids around 5 to 6 years of age.
Thus the stepping stone of seeking apology is being empathetic to others. The existence of others feeling or physical self is felt by them gradually. As they slowly grasp these and they could take the next step of seeking an apology instead of being simply forced to do so.
Simultaneously, constantly remind them that it is not embarrassing to say sorry. If the word “sorry” makes the kid feel belittled or embarrassed, then tell there are different acts to show you are sorry. This has been working with my 5 years old daughter. She is sometimes adamant not to say the word” sorry”. After much coaxing she would draw something-' a love sign’ and a hug to express her apology. This act was enough to understand that the child is sorry. The start a sentence with sorry would be difficult for the kid to start. So ask them to come up with some of these.
- I won't do it again." "I'm sorry about what I did
- I did not mean to break it ."I'm sorry I broke your toy
- You felt hurt. Can I hug you? "
- I know I was wrong. What I can do to make you happy.
- Sharing a toy, Playing next to a friend and hugging are all genuine ways kids can show they are sorry.
If a child feels excessively embarrassed and nervous to say sorry ; you can always encourage your kids to write a letter of apology.
Simple short and sweet. But do not encourage crying as that is the child wants sympathy and want to pass off the guilt.
Ask your kid to take time and understand that what he or she has done or said is not okay.
- The things we should do as parents to force the child to say sorry when the child cringes to say so. Forcing makes the children learn the in-genuine way of feeling sorry.
- The children are not genuinely sorry. They have learnt that saying sorry will help them to get them out of trouble.
- Set as a role model for your kid in saying genuine sorry to others. Children are great observers and they would follow the sequences and would hesitate less in seeking a sincere apology.
Another critical thing to keep in mind is the gender equality in teaching a kid to apologise in an Indian perspective. Both girls and boys should be prepared to apologise for the same mistake they have committed. To coerce a girl child to say sorry too often backfires as the kid would lose the empathy.