Pre-School and Daycare

Do you make your LO apologize to their friends/peers?

What do you do if they don't?

In the course of playing, DD got hit by her friend yesterday - no big deal, but of course, she was dramatic about it.  Friends mom kept telling him to say he was sorry and he was taken aback and was silent and pouty for a few minutes, but he didn't apologize either.  I don't really care, b/c I'm sure DD will get him back another time - and seriously, they're 3 - that's what they do.  I've had the same thing happen though, where DD hits/shoves her friend and I really want her to apologize and try to tell her to, but there's no way to force her either.  Do you think the right thing is to just to apologize for your kid or do you just leave anytime your kid won't apologize? 


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Re: Do you make your LO apologize to their friends/peers?

  • I typically don't have a problem getting DD to admit she did wrong or apologize for doing wrong.  She's very sensitive and emotional and cries the minute she's done something she shouldn't have.  However, there have been moments where she didn't give up the apology and during those times, I made it for her.  I think it's important to acknowledge the child who was hurt and if my daughter doesn't, my belief is that it's my responsibility to model for her what she should be doing; i.e. acknowledging she hurt someone, taking ownership, and making better choices going forward.  With a little more encouragement, she's usually follows suit and says she's sorry.    
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  • imageKathrynMD:

      Do you think the right thing is to just to apologize for your kid or do you just leave anytime your kid won't apologize? 



    Maybe it's because we've got siblings close in age and we get LOTS of practice with this kinda stuff but my kids know darned good and well that if they don't apologize there's gonna be hell to pay.   There's no appropriate age to START taking responsibility for your actions.... it's something they should be taught as soon as they start processing language.

    YES we would leave.  There would be more consequences as well if they refused.  That's more about them not listening and minding than it is about the actual issue of hitting another child.  If I tell you to take responsibility for your actions and you so much as tell me to piss off by refusing we've got a BIG problem.  That's not OK with me.

    We're almost on auto pilot at this point.  They apologize and ask if the other child needs an "owie bear" (ice pack).  Then they stay with the other child hugging, apologizing and helping until they're no longer crying.  The only way they learn that they're not the center of the universe is by learning to tune into the emotions and needs of others and this is a great opportunity to do that.

    I get that they're 3 and they're gonna do this kinda thing.  I just also believe that they need to learn that their actions have consequences for themselves and others and they're totally capable of processing that lesson at age 3 IMO. 

    Our IF journey: 1 m/c, 1 IVF with only 3 eggs retrieved yielding Dylan and a lost twin, 1 shocker unmedicated BFP resulting in Jace, 3 more unmedicated pregnancies ending in more losses.
    Total score: 6 pregnancies, 5 losses, 2 amazing blessings that I'm thankful for every single day.
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  • I tell DS to apologize and he typically does.  However, when he doesn't---I apologize for him to the child.

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  • I ask mine to apologize and give a hug.  Usually they will.  If not, if we are out and about, gee, sorry you don't know how to play so we'll go home now.  If at home, I give the injured kid all my attention, being very concerned about their owie and ignore the other.  Both react to that and get really upset so usually an apology is forthcoming. 

    DD -- 5YO
    DS -- 3YO

  • I will ask them to, but when they were little they didn't really want to b/c they were upset about it.  Even now they still can be.  So, I try to help them out and give them the words they need to express themself by saying "you feel pretty badly about what happened, don't you?"  They nod yes.  then I address what happened, if it was an accident, we talk about how accidents happen but it's still nice to say I'm sorry b/c your friend is sad.  If it was on purpose, I talk about they should have talked to their friend about it, gotten mom/teacher to help, etc. and how they should apologize b/c their friend is sad.  We talk about how everyone makes mistakes and the important thing is to learn from them.  Usually, we can get to a point where they will at least give the other person a hug to help make them feel better. 
    DS1 age 7, DD age 5 and DS2 born 4/3/12
  • I do have my kids say sorry or at least go give the other kid a hug.  And when they do say sorry, they have to say what for.  To me, just saying sorry doesn't teach a thing - the kids need to understand what they are sorry for.  My kids are in a time out or sitting with me until they calm down and say sorry/give a hug and not playing.  My LO hates saying sorry so this is something we are really working on - I am always amazed at the crying she will do to try and get out of it.  This is never an issue with my older DD - her PreK spent a ton of time talking about this very topic and giving the kids words/phases to use which has really helped and I am trying to teach these to my younger DD.
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • This is an interesting topic because I was a firm believer in NOT making kids apologize, but have changed my tune a little.  I don't think forcing a kid to say something they don't mean does anyone any good.  If you can guilt your kid into it "Oh no!  Imagine out your friend must feel!  How can we make her not so sad?" that's a different story.  Forcing an "I'm sorry" seems insincere.  I don't want DH saying it to me if he doesn't mean it.  Does that make sense?  However, I have been getting DD to apologize when she's done wrong to other kids, me, etc because it seems like a "reset button" for her.  It helps her stop and identify the inappropriate behavior.  Otherwise she will often continue like a runaway train.  If she refuses I do what many pp.'s said- I remove her from the situation because she's obviously in no frame of mind to handle whatever it is.  
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  • DD has to say sorry and tell what she is sorry for.  I talk to her about her actions and explain why it's necessary to say sorry.  If she refuses, we leave - plain and simple.  If we have to leave the situation I typically say something like, I am sorry my DD hit you in the head with a rock.  I am very sorry you got hurt.  Since DD can't play nicely we have to go/we have to go inside, etc.

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  • No, I do not make them say they are sorry.  But they are sorry and say so 95% of the time.  If they are not sorry for what they did, I try to get to the bottom of whatever just happened instead of focusing on a word.  Does it mean anything if it is just a automatic response?

    Our neighbor has a grandson my son's age (4) and they like to play.  Often they get a big rough or accidents happen, the grandparents quickly jump all over their grandson to say he is sorry.  The little boy usually gets real mad about the entire situation and mad at my son in turn for, in his eyes, getting him in trouble.  They end up taking him inside and he can't play anymore.  I think they have somehow taken it another level where the wrong lesson is being taught. 

  • DS is kinda on autopilot for saying sorry. In fact, if another parent tells their kid to say sorry, DS says sorry too. So I don't know how much he really means it, but I suppose it's a nice automatic response.
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  • We make DD apologize and state what she did wrong and then we apologize to the parents if they are around. If the parent isn't around, we apologize to the child and pay DD as little attention as possible.
    DD#1 11.7.07 - DD#2 11.2.10 (3rd Tri Loss)- DD#3 4.18.12
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