Hello friends, sorry I have neglected this blog, I am knee deep in writing my Masters thesis but have been thinking about this hot topic (especially since my last Challenging Behaviors workshop) so I will just give some bullet points for thought:
1. Young children have not developed empathy yet,
2. Young children are not able to see things from other children's or adults points of view (remember, egocentric)
3. When we help young children label emotions (particularly if their behaviors caused the emotions) we help them to develop these skills
4. When children are forced to say "Im sorry" it is difficult for the child to trust that adult really knows them
5. When a child is told to say "Im sorry" they are being told to be insincere and that these empty words are the easy fix.
- how many of us know children who automatically say either "Im sorry, Im sorry" or "I'll say Im sorry" when an adult has caught them offending another child?
6. When we force children to say "Im sorry" we are forcing children to LIE!
7. Children learn empathy by seeing empathy. It is okay for the adult to say sorry to the offended child
8. It is necessary to bring the child to the hurt child and label the emotions and make the connection that his/her behaviors led to that emotion
9. Provide natural, immediate & logical consequences for the child that offended ("I can not let you play with your friends, sister, brother, etc because you hurt him/her" an older child can be told that it is your job to make sure they are all safe)
10. An older child can begin to be given the option to say "Im sorry" not as an easy fix but as a means to help the other child feel better. This is an option to begin to help the child understand social rules, not exhibiting our power over them.
Id love for this to start a discussion, so let's hear what you think!!!