Monday, February 18, 2013

Making it Right

A few years ago I felt the need to teach my children how to say sorry.  This scenario wasn't quite cutting it for me.


Kid 1: I'm sorry.
Kid 2: It's okay.

First off, I'm not sure Kid 1 really meant it or knew what they were even sorry about.  They'd simply learned that saying sorry was the key to getting off the hook.  Secondly, Kid 2's response was sweet but not necessary, because it wasn't okay for Kid 1 to treat them that way.  

This is the way the conversation goes now.  It definitely requires a little more thought than the scenario above.



This is up on our wall.  When there's a need for an apology, the kids head over to the make-it-right spot and take care of business.  It's certainly not perfect, but it's a step in the right direction.


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24 comments:

  1. Good thoughts this morning, Tammy! I have my students use #1, but I haven't thought to have them use # 2 or #3. Great life lessons!
    Lori
    Conversations in Literacy

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    1. Lori, I sure do hope this affects the rest of their lives.

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    1. Megan, you're so welcome. Thanks for commenting.

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    2. Just shared this on my Five on the Fifth post. Such a great idea!

      Megan
      I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

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    3. Thanks again Megan! That's all too sweet of you! :)

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  3. I really like this! I appreciate you sharing it!
    Jessica
    Covered in Glitter and Glue

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    1. Jessica, I'm glad this is something useful for you!

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  4. Great idea...I've had my kids use the first one, but need to incorporate 2 and 3 with it as well. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You're very welcome! Steps 2 and 3 do make them think a little bit!

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  5. As always, a thought provoking post. It drives me crazy when I see a teacher demanding a child say sorry without further discussion (except a threat that the child can't play until they have said "I'm sorry.") I usually don't insist on an apology but suggest it will help the other child feel better. If the problem was caused by an accident, kids will easily say "I'm sorry it was an accident" with very little prompting and it does help the other feel better. For deliberate or thoughtless behavior (such as knocking down another child's blocks) I usually start with asking the offender why he/she thinks the other child is upset. I then ask how they might make the child feel better. If the child says he will say "I'm sorry." I remind them that that means "I wish I hadn't done it and I'll try not to do it again." If the child doesn't mean that I suggest they need to go to another area. Certainly not perfect because I do think that teaching compassion and responsibility are critically important. I just don't want to teach my little ones that the words "I'm sorry" are a pass for inappropriate behavior or that they have no meaning.
    Lyn
    Mrs. Goff's Pre-K Tales

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    1. Lyn, I agree. Kids have learned that "I'm sorry" is what they say when they want to get out of trouble. This is something I sure want to undo. Thank you for your additional thoughts and insight. They are always welcome.

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  6. I love this. Another teacher at my school has something like this and I've always liked it!

    Kimberley
    First in Maine

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    1. Kimberley, I'd love to hear about this teacher's system, so I can make mine better!

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  7. May I borrow this?
    What a great idea Tammy!
    Starting this tomorrow!
    Julie

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    1. Julie, please borrow away! Make it better and then let me know how, so I can make mine better too! :)

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  8. I love this also...ditto all the above comments. What I love about it is using "I" statements. No opening for accusations.

    Laurie
    Chickadee Jubilee

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    1. Laurie, it does really force the little person to take responsibility for themselves instead of point the finger, huh?

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  9. Thanks for sharing this idea Tammy! Mind if I make a little chart? I will probably offer it as a freebie if you don't mind?!
    Kim

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    1. Kim, you're more than welcome to! :)

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  10. Awesome! I featuring this post on Bagels and Blogs a little later today. :)

    Donna
    Math Coach’s Corner

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    1. Donna, thank you for thinking this worthy of sharing with your readers!

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  11. I love this! Lame apologies get on my nerves. :)

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