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Lesson 8:  Apologise

Quote: An apology is the super glue of life. It can repair just about anything.

Statement: Apologising is one of the most powerful ways to be a BRIDGE BUILDER. A heartfelt apology can show the other person that you understand that what you did hurt them, and it should involve either a response to fix the problem or an acknowledgement that you won’t repeat the behaviour. However, apologies are often delivered poorly or over-used, and they fall short of being effective. It is important to teach children the skills and language that help this strategy be more effective. Remind children to look at the person when they are saying sorry, and to use their name and apologise for what they have done that has caused the hurt. They can then either commit to trying not to do it again or offer to do something to fix it. To really be effective in building bridges the person who received the apology will either say “Thanks for saying sorry.”, “Apology accepted.” or ‘I forgive you.’

Research: Aaron Lazare, the former Dean Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, wrote a book about the apology, which he referred to as “one of the most profound interactions two human beings can have with one another.” His research noted that “while good apologies have the power to heal, bad ones only make things worse.”

Tips to teach this skill at home:

1. Demonstrate this skill to your child as often as you can.


2. Encourage them to practise with you – check their tone of voice and that they are standing bravely.


3. When they have a conflict with a sibling, once they have calmed down, see if they can have a try at the using it.


4. With your child, visit the BRIDGE BUILDERS® Online Learning Program Lesson Eight and do some of the fun activities as a family. Validating this learning empowers your child with valuable skills to learn how to; Apologise and be empowered for life!


By Jocelyne Chirnside

Empowering Life Skills