Sorry seems to be the hardest word

Tips on saying ‘sorry’ – modelling to children


Being a big believer in humility, acknowledging faults and identifying areas we can improve on I was freshly inspired this morning to read this rather long but very worthy read on apologising.

I’ve of course been greeted with ample opportunity to introduce the 4 step principles with my baby bears all in one afternoon. Being children aka ‘sponges’ they’ll of course remember the 4 steps and I shall bask in my newly acquired ‘perfect parenting’ status for all of a few seconds…before I go bat-shit crazy once again! All jokes aside, when prompted, they both repeated the 4 steps I’d encouraged. 

If I’m honest I may have been intentionally ‘calmly communicating’ the 4 steps to my cherubs in the presence of daddybear hoping that he’d too take on board the principles. 

Sorry often goes unsaid or is misused to excuse or move on from negative behaviours even amongst adults. I want genuineness. I want to hear what is going to change as a consequence of any person admitting fault. I need to know that the ‘culprit’ knows what impact they have had. This is how I recognise sincerity in a decent apology. Yes. I’m making this harder. Yes. People will no doubt let me down until they develop this skill. But yes we all deserve genuine loving consideration and an apology should not be insincere or a ‘get-out’. 

As adults (in our relationship/ household we have 2 adults- supposedly) we can model effective caring communication to encourage babybears to do the same. The more it is witnessed by babybears the more likely we are as adults to see it. 

4 steps are:

1) direct the ‘sorry’ to the person by name

2) acknowledge what you did wrong. Show that you know how your behaviour affected them.

3) explain what you would do next time or how you could make things better. What will you do to improve the situation?

4) ask for acceptance of your apology

Author: mummagrizzlybear

I write for my own therapeutic release of the stresses we encounter as a family navigating the SEN world with Autism and PDA. I am passionate about reducing isolation and encouraging everyone to create a #virtualvillage of a support network so that nobody on this journey of parenting needs to feel alone or inadequate. You can comment on a blog, or drop me an email at or come and find me on facebook at … whatever you do, please do not feel alone.

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