The apology sequence

  1. What did I do? (invite criticism)
  2. I’m sorry. (apology)
  3. What can I do to make it up to you? (offer restitution)

Often times we just need the first two steps to meet the needs of a breech and repair in any relationship. Most can move on, settle their emotions and regain the relationship, maybe even a stronger relationship because the more breach and repair moments you have in any relationship, the better communication and understanding you can create.

I get a lot of my information from Dr. Childress. Just check out my website and you can see he is at almost every turn. I am going to discuss his article on Ju-jitsu this week. I read the article probably a year ago and highlighted what I needed at the time. Now a year later, in a different frame of mind and working with families that are struggling to move forward, I see this article for its entirety. So much useful information about relationship building.

So I have decided to start with the apology sequence. The part of breech and repair that essential and many of my clients are stuck at step 1 with their child. What did I do? And the child has no real definitive answer, or flat out tells a fib and the parent gets defensive. The parent wants to apologize…but they want to apologize for something that really happened. So part of Ju-jitsu is to apologize for the feeling that the child is experiencing. The parent must always be in an “intent to understand” position with their child. “I am sorry you feel that way, what can I do to help?”

You can even take it a step further and say what can WE do to help. Finding a working relationship with your child to solve challenges. Validating their feelings, but not apologizing for a delusion. The more you can talk to your kids and solve problems..the more solid the foundation of your relationship. It becomes a relationship of trust, kindness, and unconditional love.

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