Friday, August 23, 2013

on saying sorry.

"compulsory apologies train kids to say things they don't mean - that is to lie."
alfie kohn, unconditional parenting.

so i have had the topic of "saying sorry" on my mind lots lately.

we are at the fun toddler stage with my oldest two where we find ourselves offering ample amounts of training and guidance when it comes to  their choices and responses to things.

hearing parents tell their children to "say sorry" or "apologize" is very common.

in fact, i found myself doing it without a moment's thought as i have moved into this phase of parenting.

however, it always left a weird taste in my mouth.
i wasn't fully comfortable commanding my children to apologize for some wrong, especially when it was obvious that their heart was not remorseful in the slightest.

i would notice times when remorse was truly apparant in their little hearts...
and in these moments, they would eagerly apologize to whoever they hurt, offer hugs and kisses and then move forward.

and then there were other times when their little selves did not seem sorry at all about a choice they made.

above all, i am concerned with my boys' hearts.
above their behavior, 
above their choices.

i quickly began refraining from telling them to apologize, and instead, simply continued to model remorse and a heart that is truly apologetic whenever i was in the wrong.

i refrained from forcing them to do something that their heart was not yet ready to do.

and over time, i am seeing a shift in my little men.

they are much quicker to apologize when they know that they too have made a choice that was not kind, or hurts someone else.

they linger in my presence that much longer after we have engaged in a time of correction.

i love the concept of "connecting while correcting"
and have been so pleased to see this increase within our home as i have allowed the other to decrease.

i would love to hear your thoughts on this!

i am so humbled daily to be parenting these three and am eager to do the absolute best that i can in the midst of my imperfectness!

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