Jump to:  A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G   |   H   |   I   |   J   |   K   |   L   |   M   |   N   |   O   |   P   |   Q   |   R   |   S   |   T   |   U   |   V   |   W   |   X   |   Y

Teaching Kids the Importance of an Apology

Teaching Kids the Importance of an Apology

WEDNESDAY, April 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- "Say you're sorry." It's almost a natural reflex to ask this of your child when he or she hurts or wrongs someone. But at what age do kids really understand the meaning of an apology, and should you make a child repeat the words if they don't yet have real meaning?

Studies show that 4-year-olds can tell that an apology makes someone who's upset feel better. It also makes the wrongdoer more likable.

But it isn't until age 5 that children can make the connection with the underlying emotions that prompt an apology, like guilt and remorse over the mistake. At this age, they can also tell the difference between a child who readily and sincerely apologizes, and one who is pushed into it by a parent. And when a child isn't sincere about the apology, his or her words won't make the wronged person feel better.

For kids ages 6 or 7, it takes more than an apology to make full amends. Steps are needed to correct the wrong or "make restitution" for a child to feel better. An apology can mend a relationship, but it takes restitution to mend hurt feelings.

Help your young ones understand the meaning of an apology before any transgression occurs. Look for a teachable moment from your own life. Maybe you forgot to call Grandma -- explain to your child that both you and Grandma felt bad about it and that an apology helped, but what really made a difference was making the call, even if it was late in coming. In fact, when a child isn't ready to verbally apologize, rather than force an "I'm sorry," show him or her a tangible way to make amends. This will go further than empty words.

More information

The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, has more on helping kids grasp the concepts of apology and making amends.

Reviewed Date: --

Find a pediatrician
Health Tips
Abuse of Prescription ADHD Medicines Rising on College Campuses
Guidelines for Raising Smoke-Free Kids
Helping Kids Get Over their Fears
How Old Is "Old Enough" for Contacts?
Parenting Déjà vu: Raising Your Grandchildren
Parents-to-Be Must Communicate
Reading to Kids Helps Their Development
Talk With Your Kids About These Issues
Talking About Sex with Your Teen
NewsLetters
5 Tips for Surviving Baby’s First Year
Cultivating Curiosity in Kids Is Key for Academic Success
Homework Help: For Parents
Diseases & Conditions
Anatomy of a Child's Brain
Anatomy of the Endocrine System in Children
Anxiety Disorders in Children
Asthma in Children Index
Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) in Children
Bone Marrow Transplant for Children
Brain Tumors in Children
Chemotherapy for Children: Side Effects
Discipline
Ewing Sarcoma in Children
Firearms
Hepatitis B (HBV) in Children
Inflammatory and Infectious Musculoskeletal Disorders
Inflammatory and Infectious Neurological Disorders
Inguinal Hernia in Children
Insect Bites and Children
Kidney Transplantation in Children
Meningitis in Children
Mood Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Myasthenia Gravis (MG) in Children
Osteosarcoma (Osteogenic Sarcoma) in Children
Pediatric Blood Disorders
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Children
Preparing the School-Aged Child for Surgery
Schizophrenia in Children
School-Aged Child Nutrition
Sports Safety for Children
Superficial Injuries of the Face and Head- Overview
Television and Children
Thalassemia
The Growing Child: 2-Year-Olds
The Heart
The Kidneys
Your Child's Asthma
Your Child's Asthma: Flare-ups

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.