Two phrases parents and caregivers make sure their kids know can be two of the emptiest statements we ever hear. “Thank you” and “I’m sorry.”
Neither of those matter if actions don’t show gratitude or remorse, respectively.
During Manners Week my kids learned one of the most valuable life lessons they’ll ever get. “Sometimes ‘sorry’ doesn’t work.”
We put it to them like this “If you’re playing in the block area and someone comes over and knocks your tower down. That might make you angry. So they tell you they’re sorry. That’s a nice word, but does that solve the problem? What else can they do to show you they’re sorry?” Most of them agree that getting down on the floor and helping to rebuild it will make them feel better.
When you do stuff to people whether it’s on purpose or accidental saying sorry doesn’t always help. It’s a start to show that you’re apologetic, but it’s not enough. Your following actions need to align with your words. Sometimes that means stopping what you were planning to do to help the person you hurt pick up the pieces of what you destroyed.
Disclaimer: This doesn’t mean they will get over the fact that you knocked their tower down. They still might not want to play with you even if you help fix it. And that’s just something you kinda have to deal with because you were the one who caused the initial break down.