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My son will never ever say sorry!

(7 Posts)
8reasonstohide Tue 02-Feb-16 09:55:03

My DS aged 4 goes to nursery. He is a very happy, polite and well-mannered little boy (usually!). He is sociable and has a lot of friends and parents and teachers all speak very highly of him.

But there is one issue that I cannot seem to resolve regarding his behaviour.

He NEVER hurts children intentionally. I can say that with my hand across my heart but like all 4 year olds, he gets giddy and sometimes he will hurt someone accidentally.

Today he hurt his friend. His friend did try to politely tell him this and when I drew it to my DS's attention and explained that I knew it was an accident but it is still polite to say sorry, he wouldn't. He will not EVER apologise for doing something wrong! He shies away, goes in a huff and quite often will cry when we (gently) ask him to say sorry.

He is a sensitive boy and when he has caught his 11 month old sister and hurt her, he quite often cries about it.

I think he feels regret for hurting accidentally but to not apologise is bugging me!

I apologised to his friend on his behalf but not sure whether I am being OTT about the insistence of an apology or whether I am right to persevere. To do the latter, often ends up with him in tears (out of regret for the hurt I think!)

Sorry for being long winded for such a simple and trivial matter but it is bugging the hell out of me!

VulcanWoman Tue 02-Feb-16 10:10:10

Maybe you could explain how someone feels if they don't get an apology, make it more real to him, when someone didn't apologise to you or him. Probably a phase, they go through many!

OzzieFem Tue 02-Feb-16 10:57:18

Have you asked your son why he finds it hard to say sorry? Obviously he knows he has done something wrong and regrets it.

flanjabelle Tue 02-Feb-16 11:06:07

Do you model the behaviour to him? Does he see you saying sorry when you get something wrong as a parent?

I think my dd has learnt the value of sorry from the few Times when I shouted, or I got something wrong in my role as a mother and I have sat her down and given her a heartfelt apology.

For example, dd broke something of mine yesterday and I shouted. it was valuable, it was up high but she climbed up at got it even though she knew she shouldn't. She dropped it and smashed it when climbing down. What I should have done is clearly explained why I was upset, and what she did that was wrong. I didn't, I shouted because I was angry. I shouted that she was very naughty. She got very very upset because I don't shout often at all. Afterwards I Sat her down and told her I was sorry for shouting, that I shouldn't have and that it was because I was very cross. She immediately told me she was sorry for breaking my thing and that she was sorry it made me upset. She is two.

I really think for them to learn the real meaning of an apology they need to receive them from you. My mum was always too proud to admit when she got it wrong, so was my dad. As a result I found it hard to apologise to them when asked.

I agree about modelling the behaviour. I have never asked or expected my DC to apologise. Partly because if they're not sorry I don't want them to pretend they are but also because I think DC learn about these things far better through our actions rather than our words. My older two are 5 and 3 and will both apologise of their own accord now which is actually really nice to hear because I know they mean it

I think sometimes in the heat of the moment they feel too cross with themselves to apologise. I think you did the right thing apologising for him, he'll get it when he's ready I'm sure

hilbobaggins Tue 02-Feb-16 19:16:16

Why does it bug you so much? Is it because you're embarrassed that his refusal to apologise somehow reflects on you? Or that people will judge you / him? Because that's their problem, not his!

You can't force him to say sorry and if my 3 and a half year old is any thing to go by, the more you want him to do something the more he'll resist!

Try to relax around this issue - keep modelling the behaviour and he'll get ther eventually. By the way my DS constantly says sorry and then does the same flipping thing again! I think it takes them a loooong time to understand the value of "sorry" and what it really means. He is still very young and that ability to empathise takes a long time to develop!

8reasonstohide Tue 02-Feb-16 21:30:27

Yes, we model what we want from our own children - probably sometimes overly so. For example if someone bumps into you, even when on thinking about it, it was their fault, we still apologise. We've always been brought up to apologise for accidents even when we know it isn't our fault because it was, well, just polite to do so!

Yes, I suppose I am embarrassed. i live in a village; few families and everyone knows everyone and I know that gossip goes on. I have heard parents criticising the behaviour of children and the parenting skills of the parents. Hilobaggins you are absolutely right; it is THEIR problem but unfortunately it won't do DS any good to alienate friends through judgemental parents.

I just don't want my son to be seen as a rude and disrespectful young man. At least I know he is remorseful!!

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