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A Better Way to Say Sorry

A Better Way to Say Sorry
March 30, 2014 This post is part of my series on How to Shape Children’s Behavior. “Say sorry to your brother.” “But he’s the one who–” “Say it!” you insist, an edge of warning in your voice. He huffs, rolls his eyes to the side and says flatly, “Sorry.” “Say it like you mean it,” you demand. “Sorrrrry,” he repeats, dragging out the word slowly with bulging eyes and dripping insincerity. You sigh in defeat and turn to #2, “Now tell him you forgive him.” “But he doesn’t even mean it!” “Just say it!” “iforgiveyou…” he mutters, looking down to the side dejectedly. “Now be nice to each other.” Harumphy silence. This scenario might sound all too familiar– if not from your experiences as a parent, then at least your own experiences as a child. But what alternative do you have? Actually, you can. I’m sorry for…This is wrong because…In the future, I will… Will you forgive me? It made a lot of sense. 1) I’m sorry for…: Be specific. Now let’s practice using positive language. Wrong: In the future, I won’t cut.

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