24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825

Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Health Tip: Preparing Your Child For Sleepaway CampTips for Keeping Your Child Healthy at CampA Simple Way to Help Prevent Child ObesityType 1 Diabetes Might Affect Young Kids' Brain DevelopmentHow to Put Limits on Your Family's Screen TimeChickenpox Vaccine Shields Kids From Shingles, TooWhooping Cough Vaccine Effectiveness Fades With Time: StudyHundreds of Young Kids Drown in Pools Each Year -- Keep Yours SafeWhich Dogs Are More Likely to Bite Your Kids?Health Tip: Preventing Swimmer's EarAHA News: With Summer Vacation Here, How Much Screen Time Is Too Much?Health Tip: Prevent BullyingHealth Tip: Avoid Mouth Injuries in ChildrenKids Still Being Poisoned by Detergent PodsViolent Video Games, Unlocked Guns a Dangerous Combo for KidsWhy Some Kids With Eczema Are at Higher Allergy Risk'Controlled Burns' Better for Kids' Health Than Wildfires: StudyHow Kids Benefit From Doing ChoresAHA News: Report Seeks Answers About Mysterious, Dangerous Heart Disease in KidsKids of Opioid-Using Parents May Be More Likely to Attempt SuicideCholesterol Levels Improving Among U.S. KidsEarlier Bedtimes Help Kids Fight Obesity1 in 5 Kids Don't Strap on Helmets Before BikingParents, Here's How to Protect Your Child During Measles OutbreaksMore Than 600,000 Opioid Abusers Raising Kids in U.S.2 of 3 Parents Read Texts While DrivingFear of Dentist May Start Early for Minority Kids -- With Good ReasonMilitary Tourniquets Might Save Kids' Lives During School ShootingsE-Cigarettes Used in 5% of U.S. Homes With KidsMany Kids With Chronic Illness Are Still Happy: StudyDiet Sodas May Not Help Kids Cut CaloriesAsthma Inhalers Incorrectly Used by Most Kids in StudyNewer Diabetes Drug Shows Promise in Kids, TeensBenlysta Approved for Children With LupusParents, Protect Your Kids as Measles Outbreaks SpreadHow Much Does Your Kid Weigh? Chances Are, You're UnderestimatingFor Kids, Obesity and Mental Health Woes Often Go Hand-in-HandWhy Kids Should Play More Than One SportBetter Food Assistance Programs Might Lower Childhood Obesity RatesMany U.S. Kids Don't Drink Enough Water, and Obesity May Be the ResultStrict Blood Pressure Limits for Kids Tied to Heart Health LaterAlmost Half of Young Asthma Patients Misuse InhalersCan Games and Apps Help Your Kids Learn?Kids Can Get UTIs, TooInactive Lifestyle Begins as Early as Age 7: StudyWhy the HPV Vaccine Is More Important Than EverMore Time Spent in Sports, Faster Healing From ConcussionHow to Cut Your Kids' Sugar IntakeLiving Near Major Roads Can Slow Kids' Development: StudySuicidal Behavior Nearly Doubles Among U.S. Kids
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)

Teaching Kids the Importance of an Apology

HealthDay News
by By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Apr 3rd 2019

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, April 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- "Say you're sorry." It's almost a natural reflex to ask this of your child when he or she hurts or wrongs someone. But at what age do kids really understand the meaning of an apology, and should you make a child repeat the words if they don't yet have real meaning?

Studies show that 4-year-olds can tell that an apology makes someone who's upset feel better. It also makes the wrongdoer more likable.

But it isn't until age 5 that children can make the connection with the underlying emotions that prompt an apology, like guilt and remorse over the mistake. At this age, they can also tell the difference between a child who readily and sincerely apologizes, and one who is pushed into it by a parent. And when a child isn't sincere about the apology, his or her words won't make the wronged person feel better.

For kids ages 6 or 7, it takes more than an apology to make full amends. Steps are needed to correct the wrong or "make restitution" for a child to feel better. An apology can mend a relationship, but it takes restitution to mend hurt feelings.

Help your young ones understand the meaning of an apology before any transgression occurs. Look for a teachable moment from your own life. Maybe you forgot to call Grandma -- explain to your child that both you and Grandma felt bad about it and that an apology helped, but what really made a difference was making the call, even if it was late in coming. In fact, when a child isn't ready to verbally apologize, rather than force an "I'm sorry," show him or her a tangible way to make amends. This will go further than empty words.

More information

The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, has more on helping kids grasp the concepts of apology and making amends.