I’m sorry about this post.

January 20, 2011

I say “sorry” a lot.

If I accidentally kick a table, I mumble a “sorry”.

I don’t know why I do this,  especially since I believe that “sorry” should be taken from the language almost entirely.

My four-year old has started saying sorry as well. She makes a huge mess, “Sorry” she says and dances away. “NO…”, I say, “Come back and help clean it up.”.  “But I said sorry!”.

When did this happen? When did “I’m sorry”  make up for an inappropriate action like a magic wand? Bash you sister? Oh..sorry!

The truth is, I think that mandating an apology from a child is introducing children to acceptable deceit. We order them to lie. And we relax, believing the lie, and we can return to our perfect delusion.

We call it being polite.

So what should we do?

If a child whacks someone, have them get some ice. If a child snatches something, have them return it. For my older girls, if one of them hurts the other, the victim gets to think of a favor the other has to do.

There are lots of articles about it on the internet, here is one if you need to share it with a grandparent or a teacher. (although any trained teacher should know this already)

This concept of acceptable lying and mandated deceit has me thinking.

When people meet my partner, they are usually quite taken by his integrity, is ability to “walk the talk”. I wonder if this is because as a society not walking our own talk is freely accepted. Saying one thing, but doing another is what as become socially acceptable. So, when someone actually follows through with their word, people are more surprised than when they don’t. Just pondering… 🙂

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4 Responses to “I’m sorry about this post.”

  1. Marina DelVecchio Says:

    Wow. Never looked at it this way. I make my kids apologize to one another and show them that the other person feels better when the words are uttered. As a peace making strategy. But you’re right bits ingenuous. I
    am going to try your approach with your girls. This was very enlightening. And stop apologizing to the coffee table, will ya?

  2. Helaine Says:

    OMG i thouht i was the only one who appologized to coffee tables. I appologized to my new leather couch when i hit it with my vacuum too… funny but true. I do realize i appologize way too much. Like when i dont want to buy something from a telemarketer.. “Im sorry, but i really dont need it but i appreciate it”.. What!! i am not sorry, i dont appreciate you calling me at all hours of the night!” “Im sorry” to the cashier who has to bag all my groceries, nah not really, i just shelled out 200 bucks of overpriced groceries!!
    I do believe “Im Sorry” does have a big place in our vocablulary though. It should be used to appologize for a true accident. When my daughter bumps heads with the child next to her at school (which seems to happen all the time), usually they are both in tears and end up with a bunch of Im sorry, It was an accidents….That is polite and i encourage it. But like you said, when i tell my daughter, “you left your clothes all over your room, and didnt make your bed, why are you on the computer?” and i get an IM SORRY!, I say NO, you are not sorry, you are going to go and clean up your room and make your bed, and then if there is time maybe you can use the computer.
    I think there is a place for sorry but we use it way too much. Maybe we are compensating for all the people who find it so hard to say “im sorry”, or are those people just truly not sorry? I wonder. Sorry If i rambled on here. There i go again….

  3. kloppenmum Says:

    I agree, and my pet hate is the other child then being expected to say, “That’s alright”, when clearly it’s not…in our house I’m getting the boys to say, “thank-you for apologising” instead.
    Hi from Napier 🙂

  4. kimberlymoore Says:

    I agree with all of the comments:) and I will work on stopping my habit of apologizing to inanimate objects.


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