I actually looked up the same title before I started this post. I remembered writing about it when this lesson had to be taught to Christopher.
Christopher says it so easily now. He does something wrong and he just says sorry and so far, he genuinely means it.
Caylee is going through this stage now. An incident happened however that changed her demeanour forever (I am hoping).
As usual this girl loves to disturb her brother. So happen kung kung was playing with Christopher building some lego and block structure. And this little girl slowly inched her leg out and made a structure stumble.
Kung kung was so mad with her that he smacked her leg. Of course she cried and screamed. Given poh poh was sick, I took over Caylee's discplining.
I pulled her to the back room (which is also her crying and calming down room) and made her sit down. I left her there until her crying started to wear down. I normally leave her there and tell her she can only come out when she has stopped crying.
So, when her crying simmered down, I went in to talk to her. I asked what she did. She told me she knock kor kor's toys. I asked her if what she did was wrong. She said yes, what she did was wrong. I asked her what she should do if she did something wrong. She said I should say sorry. So I told her to go out and say sorry to both kung kung and kor kor. And she practised saying it in the room with me.
As I was walking out of the room, she lagged behind. I asked her to come on and get it over with. She said in that quiet still voice. "Mummy, I am scared."
I tried to coax. I even threatened to leave her in the room tonight and she can sleep there all by herself if she doesn't say sorry. She actually looked around the room to see if she could muster enough courage to sleep in the room herself. That was the degree of fear she had to face the situation.
In the end, I brought her out. Made her talk to kung kung without saying sorry first. When kung kung touched her to hug her, she literally sobbed. Despite it all, my heart broke to see her emotional struggle.
She told kung kung she is tired. She will be going upstairs to sleep. Good night kung kung. Sorry kung kung. And then she quickly turned to me 'Mummy, please bring me upstairs'. She also apologised to kor kor and said good night to kor kor.
Since then, whenever she accidentally or purposely did something wrong, she would quickly say sorry. No need to be told to say sorry.
For me and kor kor, Caylee usually has no trouble saying sorry. Although perviously it was not the most remorse sorry. But she says it and tries to make up. After the kung kung incident, I find her sorry now more cautious. She says sorry and then looks at you (with a little fear) trying to gauge if you are still angry.
It is the hardest word to learn, harder than please and thank you. But what a powerful word it is.