Apologizing

Most families on occasion encounter problems communicating and relating to each other. Knowing how to share feelings, express opinions, and disagree without arguing are skills that everyone needs to know and practice in order to get along with others. When family members are unable to state their feelings, wants or needs appropriately, frustration increases and problems are left unresolved. When a family has experienced the negative results of poor communication due to arguments, name-calling or accusations, it is important for parents as well as children to apologize for their behavior. Apologizing for your inappropriate behavior is not always an easy thing to do. Listed below are some steps to use when making a sincere apology:

  • Determine what you did wrong and who was affected by your behavior.
  • Using a sincere voice, tell the other person you would like to apologize.
  • Begin by saying, "I want to apologize for…" or "I'm sorry for…"
  • Take responsibility for everything you did wrong. Do not make excuses or give reasons for why you did what you did.
  • Clearly state what you did.
  • Explain that you will try to avoid making the same mistake again.
  • If you took or damaged something, offer to replace or repair it.
  • Follow through with your offer.

Taken from Skills for Families, Skills for Life, 1999, Boys Town Press