Monthly Archives: May 2014

Watching our Words

Tired old phrases often come out of our mouths when we talk to kids, especially in times of frustration. ┬áDo you find this happening to you? When we’re exasperated, our minds reach for the first thing that comes to the … Continue reading

Posted in Parenting with Renegade Rules | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2 Responses to Watching our Words

  1. Leanne Dyck says:

    My training as an Early Childhood Educator helped me to rewrite some of the script I’d written as a child minder. For example, instead of saying, “Don’t run.” I learnt to say, “Walking feet.”
    Well, when you say, “Don’t run” all the child hears is run. And even if they hear the entire sentence all you’ve done is told them what not to do. You haven’t given them an option. Whereas, “Walking feet” gives them that option in a nice, tidy two word sentence.
    I’m looking forward to featuring you on my blog this coming Friday, Heather.
    Happy wiiting

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Thanks, for sharing your story, Leanne. Yes, we can all learn new words!

      It can also be really wonderfull to say “Run!” (finding places where kids can run). Location is the big deal here, ex: “This room is for walking. Go outside if you need to run.”

What to Say Instead of “Sorry”

Kids love the word “sorry.” ┬áJust say “sorry” after you push someone and the adults are appeased. It’s magic. One short word and you’re off the hook. We expect kids to say “sorry” because we want kids to patch things … Continue reading

Posted in Parenting with Renegade Rules | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

6 Responses to What to Say Instead of “Sorry”

  1. One of my favorite parts of your book, Heather. You nailed the key: you can’t force remorse.

    I’ve often been surprised by kids’ kindness, but I think in most situations it was because the kid had suffered the same ailment (bad cold, scraped knee, getting hit by another kid) so they had real empathy and they knew what would make the wounded kid better because they had received similar treatment when they were the hurt party (ex, Mom kissed the booboo, or gave him/her a hug or a favorite stuffed animal, etc.)


    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Nice that it rhymes, too!

      Kids often don’t know what to do after they did something wrong or hurt someone. The more we model and give them ideas to truly resolve the problem, the more they rise to the occasion. Love your examples of kids following models they’ve witnessed many times.

  2. Great short synopsis of why we ought not force children to say they are sorry. I love your book too, and sometimes it’s nice to have an easy-to-digest post like this to share with a new friend. I’ll be sharing it out from our “Respectful Parent” Facebook page soon.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Glad it was helpful, Dawn. Many thanks for comments and thanks for sharing it with others who may benefit from re-thinking “sorry.”

  3. Thank you for summarizing this, Heather. I’ve found your explanation and alternative very helpful both with my toddler and with the primary school pupils I teach. I like that its simple and effective – most other approaches designed to develop empathy and remorse end up more like a lecture.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      You’re welcome. Yes, it does work for many ages. As you say, it’s not a lecture – it’s the kids talking to each other and developing skills and values inside of themselves.