ANN ARBOR—Parents who force unremorseful kids to apologize to others before they’re truly sorry may do more harm than good.
That’s because the point main point of an apology—to express remorse and repair relationships—is lost because children may dislike the apologizer even more after the insincere apology than before.
Children know when you mean you’re truly sorry.
The new study from the University of Michigan looked at whether children distinguish between willingly given and coerced expressions of remorse—and they do.
The findings suggest that exploring ways to help your child learn to have empathy for the victim, thus ensuring a sincere apology, is more constructive than immediately coercing a reluctant “I’m sorry.”.
How can parents help their young children respond with empathy after they’ve upset another person, and ultimately deliver a willing apology?.
“When your child is calm, help them see how the other person is feeling, and why,” Smith said. »