Friday, January 25, 2008

being sorry

This article from Slate is a funny, thoughtful take on forcing your child to apologize. I thought I'd disagree with its premise-- that it might not be the best thing to encourage your child to apologize if your kid doesn't mean it. After all, is there not some worth to practicing how to apologize?

There is, I think. But I also loved and appreciated the idea that kids can come to understand how others feel, to empathize, and to truly be sorry for hurting another.

Modeling this empathetic behavior is fundamentally important. I think so because I realize it was not modeled for me by my own parents, but I learned it early in other friendships and relationships. And D and I apologize to each other so easily-- somehow, in our loving relationship, it's so simple and painless to acknowledge the truth when one of us is wrong. What a difference it would have made, though, to see my own mother and father treat each other with empathy.

I am mindful of this as I mother Minkie, of the importance of sincerity and empathy, of lovingly helping her grow into the wonderful person she is. One who will do her best to reach out to others, to empathize.