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Social skills: teach the meaning behind an apology

Date: August 20th, 2015
By: Polly Bath

Polly Bath: We tell little kids everyday to say “I’m sorry” when they’ve done something to someone. But what does that even mean?

“I’m sorry” are just words, they don’t amount to anything if the person saying them doesn’t understand the meaning behind them.

When I go into elementary schools, I tell the teachers: “If you’re going to focus on apology, then during your home room or skills class for the next two weeks, you need to talk about apology. What is it? What does it mean? How are you supposed to feel when someone apologizes to you?”

These are the things that kids need to understand, and we have to teach them.

Apologizing is more than just saying “I’m sorry.” And if all we do is tell kids, “Ok, tell him you’re sorry,” then they may say it, but not understand what it means or why they’re even saying it. We have to teach them the meaning behind the apology and why we would want to apologize.

But that doesn’t mean that we go around and just give out apologies for every single thing, constantly saying “Oh, sorry” all day long. When we apologize there should be a real stong feeling behind it. And that’s what we have to teach these kids!