How to Apologize
We've had a lot of together time over the last week of break. Not even ten minutes into winter break and my son announced his tummy felt funny. It was like the distant whirring of Luftwaffe planes. We grabbed our buckets and ran for cover.
The tummy bug blitz started with my five year old and traveled like lightning through the house, hitting another family member every two to three days, just when we had hope of leaving home again before the New Year. Naturally we were cranky.
Arguments ensued. Stuff like whose current TV show was more annoying, who should get a glass of water for who, whose turn it was to make the long long trek upstairs for clean socks, and by the fifth day of our familial confinement... the ever popular debate about who was guilty of breathing on someone else.
"Apologize to your sister!" is my Holiday Break '09 battle cry.
But even the admonitions to apologize have produced arguments. Perhaps it's all the TV they are watching - laden with snarky sibling banter. My kids have forgotten HOW to apologize. I've come up with a list of five example phrases for my kids to leave out of any apology and thought I would share it for all. Just for reference, none of the below apologies count as a real apology.
- "I'm sorry if you think that I...."
- "I'm sorry that you made me...."
- "I'm sorry but it wasn't my fault that..."
- "I'm sorry that you're so incredibly (insert insult here) that..."
- "I'm sorry you were ever born!"
According to my husband, who is a stickler for formality when it comes to apologies, a proper apology should contain three ingredients. These are:
- The words "I am sorry".
- The deed that you did wrong.
- How you will correct the behavior in the future.
So in the spirit of keeping the peace, I'd like to apologize to my whole family today.
"I'm sorry I breathed on you and dissed your favorite TV shows. I'll make sure to hole up in my room watching Hulu, drinking from the sink, and fetching my own fuzzy socks in the future"
Is it 2010 yet?
Original post to LA Moms Blog.