The ability to admit one's guilt and forgive people for their misdeeds is an important part of a child's socialization. According to the authors of a new study, parents and educators should deliberately develop these skills in their children. =”/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/ad0cc4b7b18ebd36d92dc5bbe2cefcd2.jpg” />
Researchers at North Carolina State University set out to learn more about what makes kids and teens forgive others. Specialists conducted a study involving 185 children aged 5 to 14 years. Each of them was interviewed in detail; during the conversation, the child's “theory of mind” skills were assessed – the ability to understand that other people's opinions, desires and intentions may differ from our own.
Then the scientists held a series of games in which all the participants were conditionally divided into “us” and “them” (“green team” and “yellow team”) and simulated several conflict situations. At each stage, the children were asked if they were willing to forgive the other group for some wrongdoing.
How to be the perfect parent of a teenager?
It's not easy, but it's possible. The main thing is to work on yourself.
As a result, the authors made several important conclusions. First, children are more likely to forgive the person who has apologized for their mistake and are more likely to be very interested in reconciliation. Secondly, they are more willing to forgive “their own” than “strangers”. The third conclusion is the most important, although the most obvious: the higher the child's “theory of mind” is developed (that is, he is aware that other people can think and feel differently), the more he is capable of forgiveness.
Scientists also found that children are very sensitive to insincere apologies, and when they hear falsehood in the voice and words of the offender, they are less willing to forgive. That is why it is very important to teach a child to sincerely apologize, experts say.
In addition, parents and teachers should purposefully develop empathy skills in children and explain that feelings and motives can be fundamentally different in people.
“It is worth starting with teaching children to explain the reasons for their actions and to explain to them how their actions can make other people feel. Developing these skills in childhood will greatly help them navigate our complex and diverse world in the future,” the scientists said. /p>