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Saying I’m Sorry


Most of us adults try our best to stay in control, but now and then we “lose our cool” in front of a child. That’s especially upsetting for young children who depend on grownups for a sense of security. Of course there may be times when we can’t control our tempers. We’re only human. For times like that, it can be really helpful for children to hear adults say, “I’m sorry.” And it’s always important to keep on talking with children about their feelings. That can be difficult talk, but that’s “important talk!”

Some Things Can Be Fixed
Young children think that things that get broken are destroyed forever, like in the Humpty Dumpty story. While it’s true that some things can’t be fixed, it’s also true that some things can be fixed.

  • Instead of throwing away a broken toy, there may be a way to fix it, like bandaging a torn stuffed animal or doll.
  • Give your child the opportunity to help clean up after an accident or fix a mistake.  When the people who spill or break something can help, they can feel better about themselves and not so helpless.
  • Encourage your child to work on mending a relationship with someone whose feelings they may have hurt, by saying “I’m sorry,” drawing a picture, or inviting that person for some play time.
  • Help your child understand that people may have mixed feelings about “making up” after an argument. Some boys and girls may not be ready to make up right away.

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