African mum carrying her daughter

I’m sorry” is one of those manners that every child needs to imbibe especially at a tender age. While you make efforts to teach your children how to say ‘please’, and ‘excuse me’, it is also important to teach them how to apologize when they do wrong.

Saying I’m sorry is very important and even as adults, it is important you learn how to apologize so you can pass it down to your children.

We all offend people, we do things that hurt others, this is why saying ‘I’m sorry’ is an important phrase that everyone must learn how to say. To teach your kids how to apologize to others, you model this behaviour yourself.



  1. Teach your child when to say I’m sorry’: First, help your child realise when to apologize to people. Coercing a child to apologise without knowing what exactly he has done wrong or why he should say I’m sorry is a bad approach. Don’t just tell your child to say sorry, tell him what he or she has done to warrant an apology. Most times, parents tell their wards to apologise without taking the time to explain what the offense is. Explaining what a child has done wrong helps him earn the ropes to apologize better. For instance; “Oh, you just spilled the milk on the floor, what should you say?” This sentence already tells the child what his offense is. Hence, next time a child does wrong, he can process that saying ‘I’m sorry’ is appropriate.


  1. Let your child know why he must say I’m sorry: Teaching your child to apologise starts with educating the child on why saying I’m sorry is important. let the child know that apologizing helps people forgive offenses. Also, explain that when anyone apologises for doing wrong, it becomes easy to let go of the offence. That means, when your child says I’m sorry, your countenance should express that you are delighted that he has apologized. You can do this by smiling at the child or saying ‘It’s alright’, with a warm hug. Essentially, help your child discover the effect of saying sorry first and this will help the child learn how to say sorry in a genuine way. Also, read How to encourage your child to talk
  1. Saying sorry when you are wrong is a good way to teach your child to say sorry. As a parent, don’t keep mute when you have hurt your child, husband or siblings. Be quick to apologize because this is a good way to teach your child. As an adult, when your children do not hear you say ‘I’m sorry’, it becomes difficult for them to learn. Help them by also saying ‘I’m sorry’ when you offend them. Do not think they are too young to learn, saying sorry to them for little things goes a long way in teaching them how to apologise. When your child hears you say sorry, it becomes a part of him too.


  1. Accept apologies: As a parent, when you demand that your child apologises for doing wrong, it is important that you also accept the apology. Not acknowledging an apology discourages children. When you demand that your child says I’m sorry, you must show that you accept the apology. You can give a warm hug, smile at them or give words of assurance that shows you are no longer angry at them.


  1. Demonstrate forgiveness: As a parent, do not just teach your children how to say sorry, you should also extend an act of forgiveness to them when they apologize. When a child makes a mistake and apologizes for the mistake, show them that you no longer hold any grudges against them. Let the aura of forgiveness be extended to your children so that they will value apologising to people when they offend them.