Why an apology is hard to give:
An apology feels like blame: Often apologies are given so the person offended understands offense was not intended. However, a child assumes blame if he is demanded to give an apology and resents giving it.
Why apologies should be demanded even of young children:
Humility: To teach a child to be humble.
Blameless: To teach a child that "I am sorry" does not only mean he was wrong but that he did not intend offense.
Forgiveness: To teach a child that acting in a poor manner toward another is wrong and he must seek forgiveness.
How to teach a child to give a sincere apology:
Role playing: Gather up some stuffed animals or figures and act out a scene where one toy has to give another an apology. Allow the child to see how a true apology is given and why. Then allow the child to see how an insincere apology sounds and see if the child can pick out. Provide a few situations where your child must determine who is at fault and what action the toy or puppet should take.
Example: Children learn by example. If your child sees you apologize then he is more likely to naturally give an apology. Apologize to your child if you do something wrong or accidentally do something. If you accidentally drop his cookie tell him you are sorry and correct it. If you make a mistake apologize. Your actions will be the greatest influence on your child giving sincere apologies.