Does your nursery teach 'Sorry'?

(12 Posts)
superoz Tue 16-Nov-10 23:28:22

Something interesting happened while picking dd up at nursery today. She got knocked over by one of her nursery playmates who got a bit overexcited and went flying into the toy pit, dd responded by wailing the place down. She also goes to another nursery and they always teach to say sorry, if they hurt one another on purpose or by accident.
I said to dds playmate: 'Oh poor dd. If you say sorry to her she'll feel much better', and the nursery worker said 'We don't teach sorry because they don't know what it means yet'.
I was a bit hmm at this. I just wondered is this normal in nurseries? Because dd's other place seems to have different ideas.
We always say sorry at home, accident or not and dd knows what sorry means, she is nearly 3. Maybe I'm wrong?

OP’s posts: |
There Wed 17-Nov-10 04:29:27

It's quite normal to teach children to say sorry. I never have with my kids though, because like the teacher at this nursery, if they don't understand what they mean, what's the point? Also, if they do something and they're NOT sorry they did it, we are teaching them to lie. It might seem a little extreme, but that was always my gut feeling. I recently read this theory in a book, so was happy that it was not only my view.

With my kids what I do is ask them to check on the person they pushed over/hit to see if they're okay. They often after that spontaneously say sorry - probably because they've been taught that at nursery.

I don't really have an issue either way, but I always feel sorry for kids who get forced into saying sorry, and just bark it out. Maybe that's what this nursery wants to avoid.

mummytime Wed 17-Nov-10 05:34:36

There how many kids do you have? I find making my kids say sorry to each other at least makes them: recognise they did something to each other; acknowledge that in general it is considered bad to upset someone else, and gives the person hurt something to make up. How are kids going to learn to feel sorry if they don't say it?

BTW I'm still pointing out to my teenagers that you still say sorry even if it wasn't deliberate.

I would never step in at Nursery, but most places my kids have gone do expect the kids to say sorry.

purepurple Wed 17-Nov-10 19:52:58

I work in a nursery and don't force children to say sorry, but I do insist they give the child a hug, and will say to the injured child that X is giving them a hug to say sorry for doing XYZ.
Most times the children will volunteer the sorry themselves.

There Thu 18-Nov-10 18:58:11

I've got two kids (3 & 5). I agree that saying sorry is a totally acceptable social norm, I've just never made my kids say it, probably because I HATE saying sorry myself when I'm still all fired up, and normally need a night to sleep on it before I apologise. As purepurple mentions, if you make them mend their wrong doing, they often spontaneously say sorry - so you're teaching them to understand they have done something wrong, and how to mend it.

With kids also, if it is intentional you don't know what motivated them - the other child might have said or done something to hurt them that you did not see, that provoked the reaction, yet they don't have to say sorry.

lemonpuff Thu 18-Nov-10 19:30:37

Don't agree with giving a hug either...once saw a child bite the 'victim' again because they were still annoyed. i always say it would be nice to say you are sorry/made them sad, but children see things in a very black and white way and always have the language skills to explain why they did it in the first place.

lemonpuff Thu 18-Nov-10 19:31:48

oophs, don't always have the language skills...


Montifer Thu 18-Nov-10 19:39:43

At what age would you expect them to understand the concept of 'sorry'.

DS (2.6) accidentally hit me on the nose yesterday and volunteered a "Sorry, Mummy" straight away.
I was surprised as it's not something we've taught, so presume it must have come from nursery, he seemed to grasp the concept that he'd hurt me and should apologise.

There's a 'parent's evening' next week so I'll ask his key worker what their policy is.

BelleMama Thu 18-Nov-10 21:35:05

My son's nursery has the same policy. Instead of forcing the child to say sorry. With toddlers it can become a real point of argument especial. They if they are stubborn.

Instead they try to explain...
"When you took Sophie's toy away it made her feel sad."

And then try to encourage the kid to fix it in their own way...
"What do you think you could do to cheer Sophie up?"

Normally they come up with something lovely. Hug, apology (sometimes they say it themselves), give her their own toy, draw a picture - etc etc.

It teaches the real meaning of apology which I think is great. The word sorry can follow later.

TheChamomileLawn Thu 18-Nov-10 21:41:39

I don't make my son say sorry, but he does tend to, because he hears me say it. He doesn't go to nursery so must have learnt it through day to day life. Don't know if he really understands yet though, he's 2.5.

Cathycat Thu 18-Nov-10 21:50:23

Surely when children don't understand something then that is the time to teach it? I've always taught my children to say sorry and give a hug from a young age if they've hurt one another on purpose or by accident. It just feels natural to do that.

jobhuntersrus Thu 18-Nov-10 21:54:08

We encourage the little ones in our pre school to think how they made the other person feel and ask them how they think they could make that person feel better. We might suggest they say "sorry" but never force the issue. It might be they will give the other child a hug or draw them a picture. Forcing a child to say a word they do not understand doesn't teach them empathy. So yes they should be encouraged to say sorry but wouldn't make a huge deal out of it.

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