My four-year-old says it through gritted teeth.
After much forcing.
He mumbles it behind his hand like I am trying to pull teeth from his mouth.
My six-year-old says it often, over and over like it’s a free pass to behave how he wants.
As for my two-year-old, when she is wronged, she demands it is said to her as recompense.
As soon as the magic word is produced the tear tap turns off.
The much debated issue of whether to make your child say ‘sorry’ when they are in the wrong is rearing its head again.
The Australian has reported that childcare educators are debating the value of children saying ‘sorry’ – with calls for the word to be dumped as children don’t know what it means.
Many childcare centres say they have already shifted their policies that way, and instead teach children empathy.
The Betty Spears Childcare Centre in Sydney told The Australian that her centre had moved away from making kids apologise to educators or other children because they believed it was an ineffective punishment and they learned nothing from saying it.
“I understand that parents and some educators might want children to say ‘sorry’ because they see it as being good manners,” Ms McCarthy said. “I believe that teaching children empathy for others and understanding about how your actions affect other people offers children far greater opportunities for learning than just saying sorry.
“At our centre, when a child accidentally or otherwise hurts another child, we might ask them if they would like to help the hurt child in some way, like getting them a tissue or cup of water.
“We have moved away from just asking children to say sorry, as we have noticed that it often does not seem to mean anything . . . often children will say sorry one minute then repeat the same action a few minutes later.”
“We were concerned that children were just meeting adult expectations by saying ‘sorry’ without really thinking about their actions.”