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Say You're Sorry!

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Should we force our kids to apologize when they don't feel remorseful?

TEMP-Image_1_16.jpg We've all done it, right? Our kid takes a toy away, pushes a child on the playground, or (insert offensive act here)—and our response is: "Say you're sorry!" How many times has your child responded with a less-than-emphatic mumbled "sorry"? We even make them apologize when our kid's not even at fault.
Should we be pushing them to dish out insincere apologies? We see it all the time in the news. Someone is offended by another's act, and suddenly there's a statement of apology issued, probably by some savvy PR firm and not the actual guilty party. It's like a feigned response used to get out of the situation.

Mom•Logic friend and family counselor Rosanne Tobey says forcing your kid into an empty apology is of no value to anyone. "If your child does something bad, it needs to be addressed. The only time I would have them apologize is if you can pull a little empathy out of them— where they understand how they would feel if the act was reversed. I think we need to be careful about teaching our kids to say sorry when they don't mean it, I just think it leads towards that people-pleasing quality."

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