Children are often asked to forgive: forgive his sibling for taking their toy; forgive Johnny for pulling her hair at recess; forgive Mom for being late.
When you ask your child to forgive — to say “okay” when someone has said they are “sorry” — does your child really understand what that means? Did they let go of the issue or are they repeating what you are telling them to say?
It is important for children to understand compassion, loving-kindness, and forgiveness. Teaching your child to forgive is an essential life tool that will make navigating childhood and adolescence easier. Holding on to anger and resentment is a recipe for anxiety and depression for children and adults. The earlier forgiveness is taught, the earlier you can prevent children from taking on the victim role. That in turn helps prevent anxiety and depression.
So how do you teach forgiveness?
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