Modeling an apology can sound like this, “I am sorry for saying, or doing, that to you, can I make this better in some way?” Don’t ask for forgiveness, ask for reconciliation. Also, don’t accept a, “it’s ok,” rather model an acceptance by saying, “I accept your apology, thank you.” Modelling a mistake can sound like, “I made a mistake. I was corrected. Now I know better. I will do better. Can we talk about it?” This all falls under the process of “not yet.”
When we create a mindset of “not yet,” we allow space and grace for a discussion about our values, priorities, responsibilities, and consequences. It’s a growth mindset. It is important to praise the process and help teens make connections between what’s in their heads and their actions. It’s common to say, “actions speak louder than words,” but rather focus on aligning actions to words. Avoid saying things like, “how can you say this but do that?” because they wonder that themselves, most of the time. Rather say things like, “I know you believe in being trustworthy and respected, how do you think that looks like in this situation? How can you reconcile that, or make amends with it, or take action in a way that shows your values?” You totally GOT this!