Tips for Raising Kids Who Apologize Well

If you are raising kids, you’ve probably told them to apologize more than once. Unfortunately, a grumbled “sorry” is not a true apology and letting your kids think it is can cause them problems later in life. Christian kids, especially need to learn to apologize well, because in many ways repentance is an apology.

So what do you need to teach your kids about apologizing?

  1. Teach your kids to say, “I’m sorry” as soon as they realize they have wronged someone. They should say it as humbly as possible.
  2. Encourage your kids to say specifically what they did wrong.
  3. Remind your kids not to give conditional apologies, as in “I’m sorry if you got upset.” to avoid taking personal responsibility for their words or actions.
  4. Have your kids state what they will change so they will not make the same mistake in the future.
  5. Teach your kids to look for a way to correct what they did. For example, if they broke something, they should offer to fix or replace it.
  6. Train your kids to end an apology by asking the other person to forgive them.
  7. Remind your kids how quickly and thoroughly God forgives them when they ask Him to forgive them. They should forgive others just as quickly – even if the other person never apologizes.
  8. In addition, there are some Bible verses you can share with your kids about forgiveness. Don’t just read them, but discuss them and encourage your kids to memorize them.
    ● Ephesians 4:32
    ● Mark 11:25
    ● Matthew 6:14-15
    ● Matthew 18:21-22
    ● Colossians 3:13
    ● Luke 17:3-4
    ● 1 John 1:9-10
    ● Matthew 5:23-24

    Knowing how to apologize well is an important Christian life skill. If your kids master it, they will be able to rebuild relationships and repent when they sin. It’s worth taking the time and effort to work with them on apologizing.

Published by

Thereasa Winnett

Thereasa Winnett is the founder of Teach One Reach One and blogger at Parenting Like Hannah. She holds a BA in education from the College of William and Mary. She has served in all areas of ministry to children and teens for more than thirty years and regularly leads workshops for ministries and churches. She has conducted numerous workshops, including sessions at Points of Light’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the National Urban Ministry Conference, Pepperdine Bible Lectures, and Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration. Thereasa lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Greg, where she enjoys reading, knitting, traveling and cooking.

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