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Saying You're Sorry

     Part of participating in sibling rivalry is learning how to say you're sorry after a fight or something happened. It is not easy to always get along with anyone. To say you are sorry to someone is to apologize to them. You may apologize because you caused that person some sort of hurt or upset them, or you may apologize because you did some thing that you didn't mean to do intentionally (like accidentally put a hole in your sisters new sweater). When you apologize you can also make promises for the future such as "I won't ever do that again", "I am going to change", and "I will be more careful next time."

How Does It Make You Feel?

     When you are going to apologize to someone or have apologized to them, it is because you stopped and thought about how you may have made someone feel bad in some way. You felt bad that they felt bad and that you were the cause of it. You may feel guilty or ashamed of your behaviour and that you must now apologize - that is a normal reaction. Even if what you did was only an accident you may still feel guilty and sorry. The good thing about apologizing is that it can make you feel better afterwards.

What Does an Apology Sound Like?

There are many ways to apologize. Here are some examples:

* I'm sorry about the mean thing I said to you."
* I'm sorry I lost your book."
* I was mad, but I shouldn't have called you a name. I'm sorry."
* I'm sorry I hurt your feelings."
* I'm sorry I yelled at you."
* I'm really sorry I hit you when I was mad. That was wrong. I won't do it anymore."

     When you apologize to someone, they might apologize back to you. They might say, "That's OK, I'm sorry, too. I shouldn't have teased you." And then maybe you can both feel friendly again.

When Should You Apologize?

     Someone might need to apologize if they hurt or teased someone or lost something that belonged to someone else. They might need to apologize if they broke something, or if they did something they knew was wrong - like telling a lie or breaking a rule on purpose. Maybe they did something their parent told them not to do, or maybe they didn't do something they were supposed to do.

Does Apologizing Fix Everything?

     Apologizing can fix alot. It is a good way to start but you may need to do more to show you are sorry. You may want to promise that you will be different in the future or that you will do something nice for the person. It also may take the other person awhile to forgive you - they may not want to be buddy-buddy so soon after the event. If someone apologizes to you, you may not feel like forgiving them right away either. It is also important to watch out for people who apologize and promise to change but do not and keep repeating the cycle. They may never change.

Related Links
Sibling Rivalry
Teens & Siblings
A Parent's Help