What to Say to Little Kids Instead of “Say Sorry”

Eventually, we do want kids to say “sorry.” But instead of making them say “sorry,” Shumaker writes that it’s more effective to model saying sorry when you as a parent screw up. Just make sure your own apologies are meaningful. That means acknowledging the consequences of your actions and taking steps to make things better. For example: “I’m sorry I forgot to bring your teddy bear to school day. You missed him during nap time. I’m writing it down on my list so I will remember next time.” Soon, kids say “sorry” without prompting, and they’ll really mean it.

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