When sorry isn’t good enough

This parenting thing has been on my mind a lot over the past week. How we parent versus how our parents raised us, especially after I blogged about how I felt our generation has lost the art of parenting.

I read these two articles  about Dr. Leonard Sax, who has a wealth of knowledge and experience given he is a family physician, psychologist, author and father. And I found what he had to say very interesting, you can read what he has to say here:

Why kids today are out of shape, disrespectful and in charge.

Physician to parents: You’re doing it wrong.

A lot of what he said struck me, gave me pause for thought and then on Tuesday I had my Medusa moment with my kids. And while I was going all bat shit crazy, Ava kept saying how sorry she was. She was sorry they had broken the chair, she was sorry that they had blatantly ignored my instructions on a plethora of things. And I realized that my kids don’t understand that sorry doesn’t always fix things, that sorry is not always good enough, that actually sorry can be a cop out for not taking responsibility for what they’d done.

It reminded me of the dialogue from one of my favorite movies, Nothing to Lose:

Nick Beam: You don’t say “sorry” when you shoot somebody. You can say “sorry” when you step on someone’s toe, or accidentally break their glasses, or when you fart while they’re eating. YOU DON’T SAY YOU’RE SORRY WHEN YOU SHOOT SOMEONE!

And that’s the thing. When you do something you know you shouldn’t but think that a simple sorry will get you out of it, then no, sorry just isn’t good enough. 

It’s become too easy for my kids to say sorry and accept that that’s all it’s going to take. That a sorry spares them the consequences of their actions.

So now, we’ve started with consequences. No TV, iPad, YouTube or XBOX for a whole week. Walter thinks I’m being harsh but I’ve made him swear he will back me up on this. We’re onto day 3 of no screen time and it’s actually been pretty amazing. I’ve had some serious epiphany’s about how screen time affects my kids, their relationships with each other and even us as a family, which I’ll share once we’ve made it through a whole week but I can say this, screen time will not becoming back full force into our home when this punishment ends. And it’s been amazing to see how dealing with this consequence has affected my children.

I don’t want to be a monster and I don’t want to be harsh, but they will learn that sometimes sorry simply isn’t good enough. That you can’t just do whatever you want, while blatantly disregarding me, as their mother and as the main disciplinarian in our family and assume that a sorry is going to get you out of consequences. Life doesn’t work that way, and it’s not going to work that way in our home anymore either. 





  • Fertile Minds

    January 29, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Yip, I totally agree. I think that learning about consequences is essential for children. We are using a star chart at the moment and its had a great effect on Jayden as far as positive reinforcement is concerned.
    On the topic of consequences for negative behaviour…….Hubby and I both agree that we have to work at being more consistent with consequence. I will admit that some days we want to avoid a melt down and so we give in. We aren’t doing J any favours by doing that and so we are really trying to keep our aproach consistent.

    • Sharon

      January 29, 2016 at 10:12 am

      The thing is, we live in a different time and a different way than how our parents did so parenting is different. But if I’m totally honest, a lot of the reason I avoid the follow through with consequences is that I’m just too tired at the end of a long day to deal with the fall out of the consequence, but no more. I love my children and I’m not doing them any favours by not teaching them consequences.

  • Angel

    January 29, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I can tots identify. I told my kids the other day how tired I am of apologies….and they never listen. So I have also started taking away priviledges lets see how it goes…

  • Caroline

    January 29, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Here, here…. I have the exact same thing with my kids, you could have been writing my story!! We already restrict screen time, but I think its going to be a punishment to not have any screen time also. I have done the “grounding” thing, where they don’t get any sweets, biscuits, new toys or cool outings… also for a week. That they understood!! Every time “I want” or “can I have” comes out their mouth in grounded week, I say “remember you are grounded, so no you cant have” whatever it is… and not even a tantrum!


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