Kid Wednesday - I'm sorry

Here is a quote from this post . . . Think about this, you never ever teach your child a swear word, but they pick them up and they use them in the right context at age 4 or 5.  They will also pick up "I'm sorry," so quit trying to teach it!

Here's a quick story to start off this post.  A month or so ago we walked to dinner with some friends, with their one child and three of ours.  Their child hit one of our kids, he cried, the other one new he did something bad, no big deal.  I asked our kiddo if he was OK, I told him I was sorry he got hit and I was ready to continue our walk to dinner.  But the little guys parents (the one who hit our child) felt HORRIBLE.  And they spent 10-15 minutes making us all wait while they tried to force their kiddo to say 'sorry'.  If you have read my blog for a while, you know where I am going with this.  So you can just stop reading here if you want.  Or you can continue on and enjoy my rant!

There are so many places to begin here.  I will begin with this, WE ALL WANT TO RAISE KIDS WITH EMOTIONS, EMPATHY, SYMPATHY, etc etc.  But, we cannot force these traits on our children.  We cannot shame them into feeling this way.  We can only shame them into feeling bad about themselves and TRUST ME, that doesn't raise kids with healthy emotional systems.

Saying I'm sorry is AWESOME!  But, if you don't mean it and someone has either asked you to say it or you are saying it to get out of the situation you are in, someone, somewhere went wrong with you long ago.  And if you are forcing your child to say "I'm sorry" for something they have done, the lesson is lost!!!!  Very lost, it's gone for ever.  The only thing you are teaching your child is that "I'm sorry" is the GET OUTTA JAIL CARD for bad behavior, and they don't have to feel a thing!

So instead, focus on the bad action your child did.  Back to my story from above.  The kiddo who hit our kiddo, ran to his mama and gave her a huge hug.  And she asked him, 'why are you hugging me, you never hug me?  Did you do something bad?'  There, that's it . . . that is it, the kids knows he is bad.  The mama should have looked at my child, asked him what happened, gotten her information took her child away from us and had a stern talk with him about hurting other people. End of story!  Trust me the kid feels bad and that's what you want to see, he knew he did something bad.  Instead this kid was give 10-15 minutes of his parents undivided attention while they bribed, begged and pleaded with him to say two stupid words "I'm sorry."  I don't remember, but I think the kid finally said it after dinner or something.  Who cares, the lesson was lost.  And the kid was basically give a gift of 15 minutes of joy from both his parents for hitting my kid.  Forget "I'm sorry" folks it's a waste of everyone's time.  Think about this, you never ever teach your child a swear word, but they pick them up and they use them in the right context at age 4 or 5.  They will also pick up "I'm sorry," so quit trying to teach it!

I could look this up, but since I have almost been through all the age groups of kids up to age 13 . . . I can pretty confidently say kids don't really understand the true meaning of connecting 'I'm sorry' with emotions until about age six.  And that's if they are lucky and their parents, teachers and friends have let them learn the true meaning of it and didn't force them to say it.

So next time your kid smacks another kid, or steals a toy, or yells at you, or whatever punish the behavior.  Don't try and use a roto rooter to get two simple words out of your child.

Have a GREAT day!!