Thursday, June 3, 2010

how do I teach children the value of apologizing?

"Let all my words be sweet,
one day I may have to eat them."

We want our children to learn the value of making amends and apologizing. I had often wondered why it is easier to teach kids to say please and thank you but to apologize...well, it's awkward. Often to force it upon children we see tight little jaws and clearly and apology that didn't come from the heart. Apologizing takes something out of us, doesn't it? It is the first sign and willingness to make things right with others and there is a humbleness to it.
We found a great activity to help even very young children learn the value of apologizing. It's called the Apology Garden. Here is what you'll need:

Making An Apology Garden with Young Children:
Materials: a large bowl, a half round styrofoam ball or Plasticine clay, a hot glue gun, lots of sugar free suckers, a whole puncher, small strips of paper and a pen.

The Process: Glue the styrofoam ball into the bowl. Plasticine clay never hardens and is a great substitute for foam. Place a few suckers in the bowl for a garden effect.

Procedure: Before starting, explain to the children that everyone makes mistakes. Making things right and feeling better means to make amends with that person. An apology is the best way to do that. Every time someone needs to make an apology or has made one, write it down on the strip of paper hole punched paper and place it through a lollipop. Place it standing up into the clay or foam ball. At the end of the week gather together and read of all the apologies and have that person it was made from be the giver of the lollipop.
Be sure to have plenty of lollipops because we all make mistakes we wish to make right.

Note: Let the children know that although making an apology is the first attempt to make things right, our words won't mean a thing to the other person if we keep doing it over and over again. Ask the children about more ways to make amends in addition to apologizing.

Teach young children steps to making amends:
*Explain what you did, be honest.
*Think about the fact that you may have hurt someone else, too.
*Do the best you know how to solve a problem.
*Remember to try not to do it again

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