is saying “sorry” enough?

sorry-coverWhen my oldest daughter was younger we had “problems” with a neighbor child. He would always hit. He didn’t care where he was or who was watching, he would hit my daughter. At my home I made it crystal clear that hitting is not allowed.


I went as far as to scold him in my home. When this child would hit, his mother would always respond in the same manner. “Son, say sorry!” She never reprimanded him for hitting. She only told him to say “sorry”. She never explained why he was saying “sorry”. She never told him what he had done was wrong. As if the word “sorry” would make the bruise on my child’s arm go away. He would always give a half-hearted “sorry” and the mom went on about whatever she was doing before hand. I, however, was never convinced the child was truly sorry or really understood why he was told to say that word. I don’t think he comprehended the meaning of it.

It got to the point that my daughter did not want him to come to our house, “Beacuse he hits, Mommy.” I told her that saying “sorry” doesn’t make your actions okay. And I won’t allow him to hit her.

A “sorry” doesn’t negate bad behavior.

There have been some perfect examples of this type of bad behavior in the news lately…Kanye West, President Obama, the reporters that tattle-taled on Obama, Serena Williams, Joe Wilson and so on. These people act badly, appalling really, and think that a simple “sorry” will cut it. They knew what they were saying at the time was wrong, but did it anyway. 

So what if they acted like a spoiled-rotten toddler? Can we say whatever we want, do whatever we want just as long as we say “sorry” the next day. Who cares if we really mean it; we just need to say the words…right?

Not right.

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