I came across a parenting article the other day where the general message was…It can be emotionally damaging if you force your child to say sorry because they do not understand what it means…? Sayyy what…
I’m sorry did I read that right?
Whoever came up with the idea that children shouldn’t be forced into saying sorry because they don’t understand what it means should be high fived in the face!
Don’t worry, I’ll volunteer to do it and it isn’t because I am a mean person either. It is merely to prove a point and partially so I finally get the chance to say, “What did the hand say to the face? SLAP!” Ahhh I have watched too many hours of Dave Chapelle show in my lifetime. After slapping said, crazy person, I would walk away without saying sorry and then we would see how they feel about my lack of apology. I mean even at the age of 30 I am still figuring out that the true meaning of sorry is, aren’t we all? With the taste of inconsequential bad behavior fresh on the palm of my hand my shitty behavior would likely continue to snowball until I officially become Cruella Deville with a bumper sticker that proudly says “Sorry Not Sorry”. Because when there is an easy/less awkward way out of things we generally we take it.
So is not saying sorry when you have done something worth saying sorry for acceptable at the age of 30? I think not…how about the age 3 – also a hard no. Call me a hardass parent but I am doing my best to raise kind and decent tiny human beings and they will be saying sorry regardless if they know the true meaning of it or not. It is a learning opportunity and this homegirl is taking every opportunity to teach my young grasshoppers not to be dicks.
My 3-year-old daughter just threw a dirty elbow in the ball pit of the indoor playground and now your child is crying. Granted your child was relentlessly picking on her and was dangling a reason right in front of her face but it doesn’t make it right what my little did to yours. So I dragged my little slugger over to your blubbering now not so tough little guy and made her say “I am sorry.” Don’t worry I also took the time to explain to her the reason she was saying sorry and that two wrongs don’t make a right! In true form, there is most likely at least one judgmental bystander sitting across the room who only makes the best parenting decisions. They are watching this entire scenario go down and thinking to themselves, that little girl doesn’t even know what sorry means and that mom is only making her daughter apologize so she doesn’t feel like the asshole parent at the playground. Well, as much as I hate to admit it, Judgey McJudgerson is right about one thing…I don’t wanna be the asshole parent that promotes violence because I am not that mom but on the flipside, I do promote sticking up for yourself, which she did, with violence, oops, ok parenting fail. So, in turn, I want to take this opportunity to teach her how to stick up for herself without kicking a little boys ass. She is saying sorry for the violence, not the fact that she stood up for herself to a little bully. That shit was awesome and I will tell her that one day but not today because she will only get confused.
But they don’t understand sorry…
My daughter may not fully understand the meaning of the word sorry yet, So why on earth would I force my poor unknowing child into saying something she doesn’t even understand. What kind of a monster am I? Well, like I said before I am the monster that wants to raise decent tiny human beings. I am also Canadian and one of our core values is saying sorry, and it is becoming a dying art because no one gives a shit anymore. I don’t wanna lose the reputation for being the country that always says sorry!
This day in age our children are these tiny dictators trying to run our show and gain control. We see parents leaving restaurants because Timmy wanted pancakes and this place only serves waffles. Sarah wanted the pink sucker and the blue just will not do. Well guess what guys – we are the parents and we are responsible for raising these tiny humans into tomorrow’s future adults. So let’s band together and keep a united front here, otherwise, like a strategic game of risk our toddlers could soon take over the world and we will be stuck eating sprinkles on spaghetti and watching the mur-pup episode of paw patrol on repeat for the rest of our lives and I think we can all agree that none of us would wish that on our worst enemy.
Let’s teach our littles the true meaning of sorry
Teaching our children important life skills like basic manners requires hard work and quite often they won’t make it easy for us. But most often the hard choices are the right choices and I know deep down inside we all love conquering a challenge. Now trust me, my children are not perfect, and I too am partaking in the never-ending battle of trying to mold my offspring into well-behaved children without breaking their unique spirit. I imagine it is similar to trying to tame a wild bore into a house pet. Sometimes I say yes when I should say no because I have no energy left in me. We all do and that’s totally ok!!!
Yes at the young age of 3 a child may not fully understand the true meaning of sorry. For that matter, they probably also don’t understand the true meaning of I love you yet either. But does that mean we are not going to say “I love you” to our children and encourage them to say it to their loved ones? It is the same with saying sorry. It is all about forming a habit and understanding what it means will come in time. Now, saying either of these statements is not just a pencil whipping exercise. When you are encouraging them to say these things, lessons should be taught along with that. e.i. Jonny, say sorry to Timmy because you physically hurt him and now he is bleeding and upset. It wouldn’t feel very nice if he did that to you now, would it? or something along those lines.
Our children learn most of their habits and behaviors from us, the ones doing the adulting. So don’t forget to always mind your own manners and say sorry yourself when a sorry is due. My daughter is 3 and has quickly learned what sorry means because we talk about it a lot. Now when she hurts someone’s feelings, or even accidentally bumps into someone she turns and says “sorry” without me having to encourage it. So although my children may not know the true-blue meaning of sorry up front you better be damn sure I am going to do my best to continue to teach her.
#Sorry not sorry for making my kids say sorry.