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toddler won't say sorry

(11 Posts)
kazbeth Sun 21-Sep-08 13:18:50

My little girl is 2 years (and 3 months) and seems to have an aversion to saying sorry. So far she's not done anything too bad - last week she knocked a poor little boys head at playgroup on one of the toys but it was an accident. I asked her to say sorry and she just wouldn't - I apologised to the boy on her behalf though. There's been a few other times as well when she wouldn't say it. How much would you push this? Her speech is very good and I'm sure she must know what it's all about as we say it. She's very good at saying please and thank you etc. Am I expecting too much?

I'm a bit new at all this as you can tell

melpomene Sun 21-Sep-08 13:29:36

It's hard, isn't it? My dd2 is a year older than yours and still finds it hard to say 'sorry'. When she was younger I would sometimes suggest that she gives the 'victim' a hug as a way of saying sorry, though that only works if you know the victim well and they're not hopping mad at your dd!

melpomene Sun 21-Sep-08 13:31:01

Also, if she hurts someone accidentally it's important to acknowledge it was an accident and that it's still polite to say sorry even if it was an accident.

WigWamBam Sun 21-Sep-08 13:39:21

She doesn't understand what it means yet. Two year olds don't. They also don't have the empathy to understand that something hurts other people - toddlers know when something hurts them, but can't translate that into understanding that other people feel pain too. That understanding doesn't start to come until they are around three.

You can try and insist she says it, but until she is old enough to have developed empathy she won't mean it - she can't, she doesn't understand it fully and it's just a word.

Keep letting her hear you say it, so that she picks up the context. But otherwise I don't think there's hugely much you can do just yet.

mrsruffallo Sun 21-Sep-08 13:42:51

I disagree- I think two yr olds can understand what it means, as in you apologise for hurting someone as an expression of regret.
Howver, if she won't say it just keep apologising on her behalf and it will eventually sink in
Keep at it

WobblyPig Sun 21-Sep-08 13:45:49

My almost 2 year old doesn't say sorry but does kiss the victim better. Is there a surrogate you could use like giving a hug or kiss and then re-introduce the sorry bit later on ?

kazbeth Sun 21-Sep-08 14:00:35

Thanks for the advice, I hadn't thought of trying to get her to give a hug instead. I didn't know the little boy or the mother though - if someone's child you don't know gave your child a hug would you mind?

I sometimes worry that I'm a bit harsh on her as I think she's more grown up that she is. I also have no other experience around other kids so don't have much to go on which is why it's great to be able to come onto her and ask this stuff.

belgo Sun 21-Sep-08 14:03:18

She will do eventually. Just carry on what you are doing and eventually she will say sorry herself, that's what's happened with my children.

colie Sun 21-Sep-08 14:26:58

My kids were the same at that age. Would not say sorry. Most kids aroung this age just stare at the victim don't they. grin. I hadn't thought of the cuddle, that is a good idea. I think as long as you apologise then that is fine.

namechanger5 Sun 21-Sep-08 14:28:42

My ds went through a phase of refusing to say sorry but it was only for a couple of months. Don't stress.

runnervt Sun 21-Sep-08 21:30:01

She sounds very like my ds who won't say sorry and his speech is good too. Usually it's me or dh he hurts so we sometimes try and get him to hug or kiss it better but I can see that might not work with strangers! I do think he's unsure about what it means when he hurts someone (he's 2yrs 4mths).

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