Apologies need to be repeated until they are done correctly. Help by coaching children how to better their presentation or acceptance. Even at thirteen and fifteen, (or eleven and seventeen) our children have to re-apologize sometimes. I’ll say, “Try again, this time look at your sister while you talk” or “One more time, with kindness in your voice.”
No, I cannot be 100% sure they aren’t just acting. Yet, recently, my son told another mom that sometimes when he doesn’t mean it when he apologizes, that he needs me to help him get there.
I also know that our children often ask each other for forgiveness without my help—that is the true fruit.
Not even sickness needs to affect true forgiveness.
At four years old our youngest was running a high fever and spent the day on the couch. When her daddy got home from work he knelt down beside her. While brushing back her hair with his hand, he whispered, “I’m sorry you are not feeling well.” She tried to perk up a bit and replied, “I forgive you.”
Although misled, she was sincere in her acceptance.
May all the apologies and acceptances be that sincere in our houses today.