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Should I apologize?

I teach my 3 yr old that when we do something that hurts someone (whether it be hurting their feelings OR their body) that we apologize. The issue comes in when I discipline him. If I put him in time out...and it makes him upset...then after he apologizes to me and hugs me, he asks me to apologize. Should I? I mean...obviously if I hurt his feelings I would apologize...but this is discipline...should I really be apologizing for upsetting him when I put him in time out because he CHOSE not to follow the rules? If I shouldn't apologize...then what should I say to him? I don't want him to stop apologizing when it's necessary all because I don't apologize at a time HE thinks I should.

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ProudSingleMum

Asked by ProudSingleMum at 6:37 PM on Jun. 30, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 5 (60 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • You can apologize for the fact that he is upset but empathize that is a mommy's job to correct his bad behavior. If he doesn't want to be punished he should (insert today's lesson).
    FuzNet

    Answer by FuzNet at 6:39 PM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • tell him "I'm sorry you're upset, but you need to follow the rules. If you follow the rules, you won't be upset when mommy disciplines you"
    BisketLiss

    Answer by BisketLiss at 6:41 PM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • I wouldn't apologize to him in this situation. I would explain again why he got in trouble. It was because he didn't follow a rule. Ask him whose fault it was. It wasn't your fault. It was his fault.
    Now if I overreact to something my dd does, then I apologize.
    PhoenixFire

    Answer by PhoenixFire at 6:41 PM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • I used to tell my son that I was sorry that his feelings were hurt, but when he does something wrong, I have to put him in time out (or whatever the consequence was) because that's our rules. It wasn't really apologizing to him exactly and it made him feel better. Maybe this will work for you, too.
    mom2aspclboy

    Answer by mom2aspclboy at 6:43 PM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • I think your son makes a good point. You deliberately upset him to get him to behave..but what he sees is you just upsetting him not the fact that he done something wrong. I would apologise but I also wouldn't discipline my child and purposively upset my child because they didn't follow a rule. There is more to a person than how they act...people do things for a reason - maybe because they don't understand or because of other reasons. I would probably ask why they chose to ignore the rule etc and work it out. I don't see punishment as a good thing for anyone.
    keyaziz

    Answer by keyaziz at 6:45 PM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • I would tell him that under this circumstance you do not need to apologize bcause he is the reason he's upset. I he would have not been acting up he wouldn't be in this position. Only if you overreacted then you apologize
    ProudMammaMia

    Answer by ProudMammaMia at 6:59 PM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • I would NOT apologize. As a matter of fact if you did not set boundaries you would need to apologize later on. I always say to my kids, I understand that you are upset. You have a choice here.....follow the rules and enjoy your play time or don't and sit in your time out chair. (Or whatever it is that you do)
    ErinRenee815

    Answer by ErinRenee815 at 7:42 PM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • When I was growing up we were taught about the difference between "I apologize" and "I'm sorry" One means I empathise and the second means you've done something that you regret. Even if I didnt do anything wrong I had to tell my sister that I was sorry I hurt her feelings, or whatever. I think "I'm sorry that I had to spank you, but I want you to grow up to be a nice big boy" or something in that vein is totallly okay. Ond it's way better than "This hurst me more than you" GAWD I hated that when I was a kid. LOL
    new_mom808

    Answer by new_mom808 at 8:54 PM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • I would tell him that we only need to apologize when we've done something wrong, and you didn't do anything wrong by sending him to time out because he chose time out with his behavior. I do tell my 5 yr old I'm sorry if I'm grumpy with her. I try to deliver discipline in a calm manner with no yelling because I'm trying to model the right behavior. I think there is a time and a place for parents to apologize, but what you described is not one of those times.
    Iamgr8teful

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 9:19 PM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • I dont think you should apologize. That is called discipline. There is no need to apologize for discipline. Your not his friend your his mom and its your job to make sure he understands and abide by rules. You cant tell the cop to apologize because he hurt your feelings for arresting you because you stole out the store.
    lilmsnay83

    Answer by lilmsnay83 at 10:53 PM on Jun. 30, 2010

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