Makes you just cringe, right? You HAVE to get them to apologize for such an offense? Right???
Did your parents ever force you to apologize? Did it really make you feel sorry? I'm guessing that, like me, you probably just felt worse, felt embarrassed and made you even more mad at whatever/whomever caused you to be rude in the first place.
What we want is for the heart of our kid to change, to have them really understand that their behavior was unacceptable and caused hurt in another human being, right? Here are some ideas that might be more effective at changing their hearts instead of just forcing them through the motions of an insincere apology using words.
1 - WAIT TILL EMOTION HAS PASSED
The worst time to get a kid to apologize is when they are still full of emotion. You have to WAIT until they are calm and can talk about the situation. In the moment we get so distraught and embarrassed at what our kids have done that we want to lash out and fix things right away.
Instead, we need to go BRAIN DEAD, to take time for everyones feelings to subside. Next, you need to brain storm with your child where you help them PROBLEM SOLVE the issue, to come up with a plan of how THEY intend to deal with the situation. The idea here is to help them think of a way to apologize that works for them. One parent worked with their son who decided to write a letter instead of walking up to the girl he was mean to. They could give flowers with a note or maybe a hug and a kiss is all that is needed. The big thing is that there's something they can figure out how to solve instead of something you as a parent forced on them.
I have other blogs that can help remind and/or teach you the problem solving scenario you need to use. If you haven't learned the technique it's really helpful to know the five step process. Here's a link that will help: look here
2 - USE ENERGY DRAIN
When a kid's heart is disconnected from the impact of their behavior it's best to let a consequence do the encouraging rather than a forced apology or a lecture. Use EMPATHY and the "Oh, this is sooooo sad. It really drains mommy's energy when I see you...
... biting other kids
... hitting your sister
... being too loud and disrupting class
....taking food that was meant for your dad
... calling your best friend mean names"
After the EMPATHY, ask them how they are going to put energy back in you. It might be a chore or a service they do for you. Each time they drain your energy in this way, you let them pay you back. Over time, if you're consistent, they will learn that their poor choices are causing them to do extra WORK! Yes, real WORK instead of just saying some stupid words that don't mean anything. If this WORK doesn't make them get a heart for their actions at least you've stopped the insincere words which weren't changing behavior anyway. I have a few blogs on how to make ENERGY DRAINs work and here's one of my favorites: look here
Here's also a link to Energy Drain recovery ideas:
ENERGY DRAIN LIST