We can remember that being sorry is a feeling. Asking children to say, “I’m sorry” while they are still upset or feeling hurt themselves gives a confusing message to both parties. And yet… it is important to teach our children to make amends. What do we do?
It turns out that the distinction between “I made a mistake” and “I am a mistake” is a big deal. When we make a mistake, we may feel bad, but we can learn from what we did. When we come to the erroneous conclusion that we are a mistake, that there is something wrong with us as a person or that we are defective, that becomes the main “learning.”