I want my children to be sorry, not just say it. I want them to know why they are sorry, and to leave the situation with a plan to avoid repeating it. That is why I changed the apology process at our house. This is what it looks like now.
I'm not going to lie and say I'm 100 percent happy with the way I've handled certain things in my life. Although there are not situations I necessarily wish I'd avoided, or wish hadn't been thrust upon me, there are situations I wish I had responded to differently.
Teens and young adults who receive encouragement and support from important people in their lives, perhaps especially parents, typically emerge on the other end of this developmental dilemma with a "self" intact and ready to move on to adulthood.
Show me a leader who can't offer a decent apology, and I'll show you a leader who will ultimately have no followers. And to quote my mother's favorite adage, "To be a leader, you must attract followers.
I've always been a little hard to contain. Some people call it joie de vivre, others, my psychiatrist included, call it ADD. One of the mainstays of my personality, and arguably a symptom of the disorder, is extremely impulsive behavior.
Despite its fading glory, I still worry that we're on the verge of permanently being remembered as the YOLO Generation -- a generation whose baffling and repellent vocal majority has decided we'd rather stand for youthful arrogance than stand for nothing at all.
I have long known these feelings to be irrational. I could bore you with stories from childhood and upbringing that would make them a little more understandable but they wouldn't make them any more excusable.
No, he owned up, no strings attached. He said he made a statement that turned out to be not true. He said he understood that it is scary to get a cancelation notice. And he apologized. Obama's apology gets full points for being unequivocal.
Argument and debate are going to happen, even in the best of partnerships, but it doesn't have to mean doomsday or that you're not compatible. In fact, I have found some conflict can actually be a stepping stone to a more honest, intimate place and can foster better communication.
Having the courage to admit we've screwed up is one of the hardest things to do. But is simply saying "I was wrong" sufficient? Giving and receiving apologies the right way isn't a matter of etiquette; it's a crucial component of ethical intelligence.
While I have never participated consistently in any form of organized Judaism, and while I cannot bring myself to believe in the magic of a "Book of Life" exactly, I am intrigued by Judaism's prescribed process for atonement.
How many times a day do you apologize? Think about it. Not a major, "I messed up" kind of acknowledgement, more of a figure of speech, a rationalization, an excuse. If you're like me, it happens often.