A Good Apology

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The Elements Of A Good Apology

My daughter-in-law who has a career in education (first as a class-room teacher, now a school psychologist) reports to us a variety of experiences that hold our interest. A few years ago, a little boy wrote this essay to “Mrs. Sydney.”

Beyond the entertainment value, a more serious look at this exhibits the elements of a good apology.

  1. He understands he has been bad. An apology needs to be more than just dismissing an awkward event. The one issuing the apology needs to understand the wrong being confessed.
  2. He resolves to “do better.” I wonder how many apologies have been offered without any follow-through or correction? This little boy understands he has been bad and resolves to “do better.” Good for him.
  3. He firms up his resolve: “I will stop.” Stopping bad behavior is clear in his mind and he doesn’t want bad behavior to interfere with his “tru potential.”
  4. He is specific: “I will try to be quiet while you’r talking.” This is no generic, dismissive, impulsive apology. He is specific in his recognition of wrongs.
  5. He acknowledges the need for education and good listening: “…cause what if I miss the lesson or instructions, I will not know what to do…”
  6. Finally, he politely asks for a response: “Good? Yes or No.” Sydney responded.

This little boy teaches Apology 101 right on that page he turned in. There is great hope for him. What about adults?

 

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