I came across something a few weeks ago about teaching kids to apologize (here) and it's been a super great tool for us. We've all been getting pretty good at giving full apologies (there are always plenty of opportunities to practice :) Landon especially has become an expert and it's just so super -- it turns the 'say your sorry' thing into a real chance for both people involved to feel so much better about the situation.
It goes something like this
1. I'm sorry that I…
2. It was wrong because…
3. Next time I will…
4. Will you forgive me?
Today I'd said something wrong to Ellie (she's learning about grammar rules like can/may, etc. :) I said sorry and she responded like this --
You don't have to say you're sorry, because it was just a mistake.
Or, I know a different way you can give a full apology. You can say
It was just an accident
Will you forgive me?
I love you.
(And then the part that I just love)
Then that will help them to forgive you. Because when you give your love to them, they can give a little of it back to you, and keep some for themselves.
Oh, how I love this sweet Ellie!