We are all human and we all make mistakes. An important life lesson is learning to recognize our mistakes and apologize for them. This shows that we are capable of self-reflection, empathy, and learning from our errors. On occasion, this can be a difficult task and hard lesson for even us adults. It is important to teach your kids to say, “I’m sorry”, and mean it. Learning to take accountability for their actions is a lesson that will serve them well throughout life. An apology letter for kids and even adults is a great way for them to learn to apologize in a meaningful way. Here’s how and why to write a letter of apology for bad behaviour.
Why Write An Apology Letter?
You see, in my house, when I prompt my school-aged kids for an apology after they’ve done something they shouldn’t have, I sometimes get an insincere and sassy “SAR-REEE” to the family member in return. Not exactly what I had in mind. My second attempt is usually met with the same word, just a more whiny, softer tone. And then the power struggle ensues because they just pushed my don’t-just-say-it-if-you-don’t-mean-it button. At this point sorry is no longer good enough, and privileges start getting revoked. Is it too much to expect that, as the Mom and authority figure, I get respect in the form of a sincere apology?
It may not be too much to expect, but it may require a change in approach. It’s about the meaning behind the words. If they aren’t saying sorry like they mean it, then they simply don’t mean it (no matter how sorry I want them to be). My solution? The apology letter. It works wonders.
Sometimes an apology letter is the best way to show what the full meaning behind the words “I’m sorry”, really are. While it may be natural to want to deny your mistakes and the consequences of your actions, that is a horrible lesson to teach our children. We need to teach them that only by acknowledging our mistakes can we learn from what happened and grow as a person. Offering a heartfelt apology is the only way avoid pushing the other person away and maintain a good relationship.
The fact is that knowing how to write a sincere letter to express regret for unprofessional behavior or rude behavior is a gift even as an adult. I personally have a very meaningful apology letter tucked away and sometimes when I need practice forgiveness, I fetch it out and read it. A good letter goes a long way to soothing ruffled feathers!
How To Write A Letter Of Apology For Bad Behaviour
You want an apology letter to own the mistake, say sorry, and ask for forgiveness. It doesn’t need to be super lengthy, it just needs to convey an actual apology. A great apology letter must follow some simple rules and include some key components to be effective.
A Letter Of Apology For Bad Behaviour Should Include:
1) An apology specifically for what they did that was wrong accepting full responsibility. (Without any “but”s.)
2) A simple statement of why the behavior was wrong.
3) An agreement not to repeat the bad behavior. The offended party wants to know there will not be a next time.
4) A request for forgiveness.
5) Optional- You may include the cause of your behavior or rude comment if you think it will help them understand why you did what you did but you must not use it to excuse your inappropriate behavior.
Sample Apology Letter
The below apology letter template is just to serve as an example for behaving the wrong way so you can see how to write one properly. They will vary be age and ability of the writer, of course. The photo at the top of this article shows a good example of a basic sorry letter from a small child.
I would like to apologize for the hurtful things I said. I recognize now that my offensive behavior and thoughtless actions were wrong because they hurt your feelings when you were trying your best.
I wanted to tell you why I behaved in such a rude manner. I had a bad day at school and I was feeling angry so I took it out on you. I realize this does not excuse my poor behavior however I wanted to let you know why I behaved in bad taste so you would not be letter wondering.
In the future I will try to exercise better sense and not take my anger out on you. I think a better way would be for me to express that I am having a rough day and try to take some time to myself to cool down. I will try to remember the golden rule and do unto others as I would have them do unto me.
I ask you to forgive me as I try to make this positive change. I appreciate all you do for me and you did not deserve me exploding on you for no reason.
With My Sincerest Apologies,
I hope you found this sample letter useful to inspire you to say you are sorry in a way that really demonstrates that you feel it and you really do want to change your way of conduct. The best time to give an apology letter is… as soon as possible! I also suggest a handwritten note as the best way to make a real connection but typed will do if you have awful handwriting are want to ensure it is legible.
You can even adapt an apology letter fork kids to be more suitable for younger kids by making it fill in the blank or letting them draw pictures.
A behavior apology letter takes thought. It takes intention. And it takes sincerity. These are the things we WANT them to have but we can’t force feed them have. I’m such a big fan of apology letters these days that my kids write them to their teachers when I get a report of misbehavior at school, to grandparents or other adults when I feel they are being disrespectful, and even to peers when the situation calls for it. And you know what? They’ve gotten some in return. Including some sincere apology letters from me, which they cherish. Because sometimes words DO speak louder than actions.