My daughter has been a member of a class of girls that are...um...well, they'd make great cast members of the movie "Mean Girls" and it's been going on since Kindergarten. I recall her teacher saying, "You know, I've NEVER had a class like this. The girls will only play with the girls when usually at this age they don't care who they play with." and they were already exchanging phone numbers.
My sweet girl has been at the receiving end of the meanness more than a few times and let me ask you something, if a child hurts your child, do you feel the urge to threaten life and limb on them? Oh...you don't? Yeah, um...me neither. *ahem*
Anyway, we've recently been in the midst of more girl drama. Ugh. Girl drama. It's the pits. But this time, my girl was the one who had said somethings that were unkind. A classmate came up to Belle and a friend on the playground and asked if they "liked *Jennifer" (*name changed) to which they responded "No. She's gullible."
Now, whether or not there is a real reason to dislike "Jennifer" (there is) I have great, big, HUGE reservations about NOT talking bad about people. That whether or not you may or may not like someone, you are NOT allowed to be mean to anyone...house rules. So, when the words my daughter spoke got back to "Jennifer", it was time for a lesson in apologies. (And a lesson in, "Any conversation that starts with a question like that will not have a good outcome...just don't answer it.")
Turns out, my husband thinks of me as the "Apology Nazi"...we were talking with Belle about how she is never to speak ill of anyone. That everyone was created by God, and He doesn't make junk. If she doesn't like someone, she needs to be kind and keep her mouth shut. We told her she owed "Jennifer" an apology and that from here on out she doesn't need to be friends with her but she most certainly needs to be respectful and kind.
I'm not sure why apologies are so hard, probably because it's admitting fault, but Belle was not eager for this end of the deal. "Ugh. Fine. I'll just tell her I'm sorry if I hurt her feelings."
"No. That isn't an apology. An apology is saying you are sorry for the thing you did. Not for the outcome it caused."
Belle looked at her dad with pleading eyes that said, "Help me out on this one dad." and his only response? He held up his hands, gave a laugh and said, "Don't look at me! Your mom is the apology expert." I, um, have apparently been a little *passionate* about apologies before...and, er, not the ones I give, but the ones I receive...which apparently has left a mark on my husband!
So, now I'm wondering...is an apology an apology in your books, or do you have "rules" for apologies like me?