Say Sorry!

During my twenty years in child development (preschool Teacher), I heard parents and teachers often say to their children “say sorry” every time they did something wrong such as pushing and hitting another child. At first I thought, well that is what you are supposed to do as a teacher, until I encountered a child that would say “sorry” as he hit other children. Sorry was just a word without meaning for this particular child. I realized saying sorry was not the answer, I am not saying that children shouldn’t be taught to say sorry, but children of preschool age  do not feel sorry when they act on impulse, it often means nothing for them. Children need to be taught compassion and remorse  by looking at the consequences of their actions. What I did every time I saw a child hurt another child I said, “Look you made your friend cry,  what can you do to help him feel better”.  Let the child be part of the solution instead of just “Say sorry”.