Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hard to Say I'm Sorry

Ok, I am not going to sing you the song "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" by Chicago. 

Some time ago, we were walking in a mall, it was so spacious that Pei Pei's legs felt they just had to run! 

"She hit me and didn't say sorry!" Pei Pei suddenly cried, and was pointing at a girl who was walking in front of her.

That girl stretched her arm and accidentally hit Pei Pei, right into her face. I thought it must really be painful, because I know that Pei Pei would not cry so badly if not for the pain.

We have been teaching our children to apologise when they have hurt someone, even if that is unintentional.

Unfortunately, that girl did not. And to my horror, the woman next to the girl, whom I believe is the mother to that girl, gave us a disgusted look, as if Pei Pei's cry had irritated her.

No, no. I don't expect the mother to reprimand her daughter over this. But, at least, not that look.

What message did the mother send to her daughter? It is fine not to apologise when she has accidentally hurt someone?

On another occasion, Pei Pei and Hao Hao were playing happily at the playground, until suddenly, I heard Hao Hao crying.

Pei Pei pointed at a boy and said, "MaMi, he hit Hao Hao!"

That was another extreme to what we encountered previously. The boy's mother screamed at her boy at the top of her lungs and demanded him to apologise to Hao Hao immediately.

Her boy refused to apologise. She grabbed his arm tightly (I could him depressions by her fingers on his arm!) and screamed at him even louder.

But then, even if the boy did apologise, was it just an act to stop his mother from screaming at him in the public?

How do we teach our children to apologise, and they really mean it?

My learning points from these two incidents:

  • Role model is important. If the parent does not apologise when he / she has done something wrong, then the child would not see the value in apologising to the others. 
  • Teach the child empathy, by talking to the child about the consequences of his/ her actions, and how the other party feel. 
  • When the child's blood is still boiling and refuses to apologise to the other party, let the child cool down first, do not force the child to apologise. Even he / she has done so, that may not be a sincere apology as he / she just wants to get away from your scolding.

What do you do when your child refuse to apologise?

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  1. Its important to have a role model.

    1. Yes, children learn from their parents, so parents have to be good role models.


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