Mindful Apologies: 3 Steps to Help Kids Master a Heartfelt Apology by DoingGoodTogether
Mastering the art of reconciliation builds strong empathy muscles. It's true, real apologies require us to mindfully consider a situation from the other person's perspective, what we at Doing Good Together call "practicing a 180."
Let's not wait to teach kids to apologize in the heat of the moment. Let's not bully them into rushed or sarcastic apologies. Instead, when sibling battles arise, we suggest you make one step mandatory: insist they take a moment to listen and consider what their disagreement looked like from the other side. The rest tends to come naturally, with a little practice.
- Reflect by asking, "How would I feel if I were them?" "What was it like to be them in that moment?" "What could I have done differently that might have made things work better?"
- Apologize. “I understand [how this was hurtful]. And I'm sorry for ____.” Acknowledge that you understand their perspective. Offer to right your wrong or act differently next time. Avoid the sorry-not-sorry approach. Never use the word “but,” as in, "I'm sorry you felt that way, but..."
- Ask for forgiveness. “Can you forgive me?” Asking for forgiveness directly is a simple but very powerful way to take ownership over your actions.
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