I’ve never been a fan of the forced apology for young children. To me, it seems to pave the way to ‘sorry’ becoming a get-out-of-jail-free card, liberally used to negate playground pushing without any real empathy or understanding involved.
Nevertheless, I have cringed whenever BabyBoy and BabyGirl, who are not yet three years old, have knocked another child or snatched at a toy….and they do not utter the words I know the other parent wants to hear – ‘sorry’.
Oh, I’ve caved a few times, and caught myself hissing ‘say sorry’ as a tide of crimson sweeps over my face, but the vast vast vast majority of the time I’ve simply lifted BabyBoy or BabyGirl away and told them that someone has been hurt (all the while apologizing myself to both other parent and other child).
So imagine my joy, and sense of relief, at today’s little miracle. BabyBoy accidentally caught another child’s heel with the pram he was pushing. I drew his attention to it, and asked if he could check that the other child (who happened to only be a year old and who was not all bothered about it) was ok. He carefully bent down and stroked the child’s foot. And then, totally unprompted, came out the magic words. “Sorry. Sorry baby.”
It’s days like today that make me think, I must doing something right.