Posted by stacey guthrie on January 2, 2014 at 9:35 AM
I have noticed a huge decline in the social skills of our children. We think of school as a social environment for them to learn and practice enteracting with each other. However, school is moving further away from this and we are seeing many more behavioral issues than ever before. Students may be able to complete their work, make good grades, sit in their seat, and raise their hand. The moment they try something cooperative with each other, we start hearing the whining, tattling, mean statements to each other, frustration and anger. This is because they have a much smaller amout of time to practice theses skills. In play, they are learning. Their brain is growing when they play. Our children have become "stressed out" in trying to keep up with demands that is beyond their brain development.
Posted by stacey guthrie on April 5, 2013 at 2:50 PM
Why is it so hard for kids to say I am sorry?
I frequently hear kids saying, "but I didn't mean to do it" or "but it was an accident". Often times they will become obstinate and adults often feel as if they are forcing an apology. In working with kids, I wanted to address this issue since it happens so frequently and without an "I'm Sorry" they don't learn empathy and forgiveness.
I ask the kids why they can't say I am sorry or what is making it so hard to say. Usually I get a shoulder shrug or an I don't know. Well anyone that knows me, knows that I rarely stop at that answer. I begin to process the situation that happened going step by step acknowledging actions and feelings of everyone involved.
I started asking them if they were afraid they were going to get in trouble and the response is an overwhelming yes. They also do not like the feeling of being thought of as a "bad" person. They may also feel that they are disappointing the grown up. I ask kids if they like the other person and usually I get a yes.
I ask if they wanted the other person to get hurt and the answer is no. I realized that the focus of the "I am sorry" is on the person saying it and the action that happened when truly the focus should be on the person receiving the apology.
I give an example to illustrate what I mean. My friend lost her phone when were walking. I try to help her find it and I say, "I am sorry that your phone is lost." Does this mean I am in trouble? No.
Saying I am sorry does not always mean I am guilty of something. Saying I am sorry shows that you care about the other person. We care about their feelings, their well being, and their belongings.
When the focus is put onto the other person, the ability to say I am sorry is much easier. This is when a person (child or adult) learns what empathy and forgiveness truly is. When we embrace empathy and forgiveness, we grow in our ability to have healthy happy relationships.
This is the best part of what I do each day. I absolutely love helping others stretch their minds to discover different possibilities.