Helping Kids Learn to Apologize

Conflict resolution is always a unit I teach every year. The hardest part for some of my students? Apologizing when they’ve done wrong. It’s not usuallybecause they don’t want to or don’t want to move on, but it is sometime because they just don’t know how! So I make sure to cover that point to. Keep reading to find ways to teach kids to apologize with these 5 action steps:

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Teach Kids to Apologize

1 – Say what was wrong

First things first, say what you did that was wrong or hurtful. This might be something like:

  • I called you a name that you don’t like
  • I made a joke about you that was unkind
  • I didn’t listen to your ideas in our group

2 – Take responsibility

Next, take responsibility for your actions and own up to them being wrong. This might sound like:

  • I shoudn’t have called you that name. That was wrong.
  • The joke wasn’t funny, and I shouldn’t have said that.
  • I was overtaking the group, and I should have listened to what you had to say.

3 – Acknowledge pain or hurt

Then, acknowledge the pain or hurt that was caused by your actions. This could sound like:

  • That name really hurt your feelings.
  • You were embarrassed in front of everyone when I made that joke.
  • You felt left out and ignored when I didn’t listen to your ideas.

4 – Say what will change

Next, say what you will do differently in the future. This might sound like:

  • I will only use your real name from now on.
  • I won’t make jokes about you anymore.
  • Next time, I’ll make sure I listen to what everyone has to say in our group.

5 – Check in

Finally, check in with the person to see what you can do to make things right or help the situation be fully healed. This could sound like:

  • Is there anything else I can do to make this right?
  • Do I fully understand how you were feeling?
  • What can I do to help you feel better?

Apologizing is definitely an art that I don’t expect kids to fully master right away! But we can practice. This process to teach kids to apologize encourages them to use perspective taking, practice empathy, and engage in restoration.

Keep Reading:

Want to teach kids to apologize? Start with these 5 steps to help kids understand what a genuine apologize sounds like.

Want to teach kids to apologize? Start with these 5 steps to help kids understand what a genuine apologize sounds like. Great for conflict resolution lessons, conflict school counseling activities, teaching kids how to apologize, teaching kids how to resolve conflict, and more in school counseling.

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