Wednesday, August 6, 2014
The "Art" of Apologizing
After getting back from a nine-day vacation this past Sunday evening, I knew that when I heard Dominic still talking at 12:30 a.m. yesterday morning, it would be really hard to wake him up for summer school. Sure enough, it was. When he finally came downstairs at about 7:15 a.m., he went straight to the front of the fridge where he keeps his magnetic letters. For the past several weeks, as soon as he wakes up, he will put the current month and day on the fridge. He put up the date and it said Tuesday, August 15th. I told him that it was the 5th of August and he started crying and yelling at me for probably about ten full minutes. I didn't say anything to him, because I didn't want to acknowledge how he was acting towards me. I kept right on making his lunch since his bus comes about 7:45-7:50 a.m. After about five minutes, he looked at me and said, "Sorry, mom." I liked that he "owned up" to how he treated me and I accepted his apology. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, the word "apology" means, "a statement saying that you are sorry about something - an expression of regret for having done or said something wrong." Children need to be taught why they are saying the word, "sorry," so hopefully they won't do what they did again!! It's like when your child grabs a toy from another child, without asking. You need to immediately step in and say, "you shouldn't have taken that toy from her/him, tell her/him you are sorry and please give it back." If you don't tell your child that type of behavior is unacceptable, then they will think it is acceptable. Saying you're sorry and actually meaning it can sometimes be difficult for children (and adults). We are continually working with Dominic on the "art" of apologizing. It is an important life skill that even for adults is still a "work in progress." For a large portion of my teenage years, there were some girls that loved to bully me. One group in particular seemed to enjoy making me cry. Over the course of the past 30+ years, I wonder sometimes why they felt the need to bully me. If any of those girls came to me now and were sincerely apologetic, I would forgive them. What I have noticed as I go through life, is that when someone has hurt you in some way, unless you tell that person, they might not even realize that you are upset. At the ripe old age of 51, I am coming to the conclusion that I am much happier if I "clear the air," rather than keep it inside. Since I tend to internalize my feelings, that is something that I continue to strive for!