Posted by Fitz

I’ve gotten myself into a small – yet meaningful – dilemma over the past several weeks.  You see, my Bean has learned the word “sorry”.  She says it all the time – after spills, if she calls something a cow that is a horse, if she drops a hair bow, if I tell her she needs to eat one more green bean.  I love how considerate she is becoming, but at the same time, I don’t want her to be that girl who apologizes for everything.  I want to be proud of her decisions and stand up for herself in the context of being kind to others; this is, of course, a delicate balance to even attempt to teach a two and a half year old.

When she says “Sorry, Mommy!” for no good reason, I tell her that she doesn’t need to be sorry – she hasn’t done anything wrong.  When she says she’s sorry in an appropriate context, I tell her that she is a good girl for saying it.  It’s a mixed message, though, and I fear I’m confusing her much more than I’m helping.  Case in point: last night, my girl yelled at her beloved Mimi for telling her it was time to go upstairs and start their weekly jammie party.  Beanie said, “No, Mimi, you go alone!”  I told her that wasn’t nice, and to say sorry to her Mimi, and she looked at me curiously.  Then, she turned her huge green eyes on Mimi, then looked back at me and said, “Mommy would say ‘DON’T BE SORRY’!”  Nevertheless, poor Mimi didn’t get her apology and I failed at the opportunity to teach her the right context for an apology.

Sigh.

This is clearly a work in progress, and my intentions likely won’t be understood for many more years.  In the meantime, though, I’m going to keep trying.  I’d rather have countless conversations about when/where to apologize and teach my little girl that it’s great to have strong convictions and believe in yourself.  She has so much confidence, and I want to keep it that way.

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