Forced apologies…

Okay…seriously who thinks it is a good idea to force a child to apologize after they hurt someone.

Do you think they actually mean sorry after they have clobbered a friend over the head with a stick? Sure, In a perfect world it would be nice, but empathy, kindness,and sympathy is a taught emotion. By you forcing a child to apologize you are ignoring both the hitter and the victims feelings. Why not address the victim first (you can express empathy to victim in front of your child) As you model empathy, sympathy, and recognize the feelings they are having you are helping your child what is appropriate ways to deal with emotions. Then, after supporting the victim then address your child for hitting. In a calm and caring manner ask a few simple questions and find out what was going on to provoke such aggression. Discuss and work together in finding a more appropriate way to deal with frustration or hurt feelings. In time you will notice less and less aggressive behavior in your child. Eventually, on their own terms, your child will apologize for hurting their friend and it will actually mean something!

Nothing more annoying them empty apologies that have no effort, feeling or compassion behind them. I can spot a fake apology a mile away! If not addressed when children are younger your child, who will eventually be a pre-teen, teen, and adult who will continue to treat others badly and think they can simply just say sorry to make it all better!

Wake up parents! If you genuinely feel sorry for the child your kid hurt YOU apologize for your child’s behavior and address the situation by taking that teachable moment and help your child learn new coping skills.

Remember…forced apologies mean nothing!



I’m a Mommabear. I always have been. Even when I was a little girl I was always playing the Mom role with my dolls, with my friends, and with peers at school. Always making sure everyone was happy, safe, and following the rules! I laugh now, as I not much of a rule seeker anymore, but I’m definitely a Mommabear. Even in my 20’s and living the “play hard, live hard” lifestyle, I was the one who made sure everyone got home safe, kept clear of fights at pubs, and generally just had fun in a safe way. When my friends had troubles or issues with their boyfriends or girlfriends, I was the one they would go to for advice ect,. That was when I was nicknamed Mommabear…

Over the years, I’ve been told by my own children (who are only 7 and 10 years old) that I should help random children at the school yard, malls, and restaurants when they are crying, upset or being rude. They see me as the Mom who can stop the crying, talk through arguments, and to generally make sure everyone is being polite and fair. I’m certain my boys will be amazing Dads one day. They are very sensitive towards everyones moods, feelings, and needs. Makes me so proud when I watch them engaging with especially little people. Patient, playful and supportive in teaching new skills.

I started running a daycare five years ago when my youngest was only 2 years old. I wanted to be home with my boys and I loved being around little people. I wanted a large family and well…now that I run the daycare I do. I get new babies all the time and help them grow up into independent, kind, thoughtful, and sweet little people.

I’ve had many different experiences, and have been exposed to many different parental styles, thoughts, and general ideas of what’s appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. The most surprising thing I have noticed over the last five years is how many parents have waved goodbye to basic manners and social skills adults hold valuable. Some would even insist that these manners be followed by all if society. You know, the basic “please” “thank you” “your welcome” ect.,

I’m concerned that children are becoming less aware of feeling empathy for others, how to behave in public, how to greet people, and how to express themselves without exaggeration or drama, how to generally have respect for themselves and those around them. It appears that parents don’t have any expectations or can’t comprehend what a child is capable of until someone shows them.

More children are now demanding parents and adults instead of asking for help. Children are not being taught the same social skills that are expected of us in our daily lives. Would you listen to or help an adult who told you “go get me a milk now!”? Yet, I’ve seen parents run to the fridge, grab the milk and then hand the child the milk without any correction on how the child should request milk.

My question…is when will these child learn basic manners? In 3 years, 10 years or 20 years from now. Who is going to help instill the basic manners society expects and should expect.

I work with children to learn realistic boundaries of being a good friend, how to care for self and others. I am kind, yet direct in my expectations and have taught children they can still get what they need and want but they need to be respectful of others to receive respect.

I’m concerned about the next generation of children. What kind of adults will they grow into if parents don’t have any expectations for being a good person.