Saturday, February 28, 2015

How My Toddler Learned to Say "I Am Sorry"

Just like any toddlers, my daughter is not perfect. I mean, she has her meltdowns, is sometimes mischievous and behaves like, well, like a 3-year old should do. But if there's one thing that I'm very proud of is that, at a very young age, even before she learned to say the word, she already knew how to say "sorry".


I can still remember, when she was one and a half year old, whenever I called her attention because she's not "listening" to what I'm telling her - of course, that would make my voice firm and a little louder than usual - she would immediately come to me then hug and kiss me. At that time I didn't know what she's doing or what she's up to. Eventually I realized it's her way of telling me she's sorry for whatever she might have done or for not listening to me. Soon she's able to talk and could "articulate" her feelings of regret. It melts my heart every time she does it.

So, how did she learn to say these 3 precious words? I am not claiming to be an expert in this matter but my experience has taught me that these "steps" (or whatever you may want to call them) really work for us.

Start early. It is never too early to teach our children the kind of values we want them to have.
As early as possible we should exert effort to inculcate in them the beliefs that hold true to us.

Teach by example. It is one thing to say it, doing it is entirely a different thing. Our actions speak volumes to our children more than the words they're hearing from us. As far as I can remember, I didn't tell my daughter at that age to say "I'm sorry" whenever she "offended" me or her dad. My thought at the time, "How will she understand it? Wait until she turns two." However, whenever I did something wrong (that would mean, I got mad at her for no reason or I had misjudged her actions), I was quick to say, "I'm sorry, baby. Mommy, didn't listen to what you're trying to tell her. I'm sorry. I won't do it again. I love you so much." Little did I realize that that left a deep impression in her heart- that there's nothing wrong with admitting you're wrong and it's okay to say you're sorry.

Sometimes the challenge with us adults, or parents for that matter is that, we're too "proud" to acknowledge our own mistakes. We think that because our children are "just kids" and we're the grown ups, we are always right. As a result, we don't say sorry to them and in turn, they won't as well.

Be a good model. Growing up, my siblings and I would say "I'm sorry" whenever we would offend anyone among us or even our parents. Why is that? Fortunately for us, my mother is a good role model. As a result, I have carried that "habit" until now. Being a couple, my husband and I are quick to admit our faults and say "sorry" to one another when we know that we've offended each other. We're unabashed to acknowledge our mistakes before each other and even in front of our daughter. And I believe that made a great impact to our daughter. Remember, in the eyes of a child: If daddy and mommy are doing it, then it must be right.

Commend the act. One of the things I do after our daughter say, "I'm sorry" is hug her. Since her primary love language is physical touch, mommy hugging her after she admits she's wrong makes her feel forgiven and loved. I believe that just like us adults, it takes a lot of courage for a child to confess she regrets the wrong she's done. So appreciating the act will encourage the child to bring out the same positive response when a situation calls for it.

I hope these simple steps help you as well in teaching your child/children say "I'm sorry" and other common courtesies. Can you think of other ways/steps? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box below.








12 comments:

  1. I'm still in the prices of teaching my kids about good values. Thankfully, she understands the concept of "please," "thank you" and "I'm sorry." :)

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    1. Glad to hear that, fellow mom! Keep it up! :)

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  2. This is one of the most difficult aspects of parenthood, teaching your kids good values!

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    1. Indeed! The nice thing though is, it can be done. :) Thank you for visiting.

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  3. Nice post mommy :) My daughter doesn't know how to speak yet (8months old palang) and I can't wait to teach her these kind of values. AYaw ko lumaki ang baby ko na di marunong mag sorry. I know some kids in our neighborhood na super pasaway, and di ko ma take na maging ganun ang anak ko.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, mommy Kitkat. As a mom, we can make a difference in our community by raising courteous and polite children. :) Enjoy the baby stage of your daughter. Days are long but years are short; time goes by quickly. :)

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  4. Nice job mommy!
    This is the challenging part for me -- the disciplining and teaching part. Looks like I need to work on being a good model.
    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. You're welcome! Thank you for dropping by. :)

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  5. Awww, that's how I was able to teach my daughter to say sorry too! I always tell her I am sorry when i did something that would make her feel bad and I guess our children mimic whatever we do.

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    1. Yes, our kids don't just look up to us, they look at us as well. ;) Thank you for visiting, mommy Peachy. :)

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  6. Great tips! Right now my son can only manage to say quack, haha! But I find that it is really effective to set a good example, especially since they look up to us and tend to imitate things we do and say.

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    1. Haha! That's so cute! Yes, they do. :) Thank you for visiting. :)

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