Toddlers shouldn’t say sorry — whatever next?

Manuela Willbold
3 min readFeb 10, 2019

I regularly come across intriguing claims when it comes to education and the rights and wrongs of raising children these days.

Recently, I was made aware of this article below in a magazine called Little London Guides announcing latest research shows that asking a toddler to say sorry is wrong and inappropriate for their age.

Article published in Little London Guides Spring 2019

The argument is that children under the age of four are still developing a concept of the word “sorry” and haven’t yet developed cognitive and emotional brain functions to fully grasp it.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t disagree with this finding — many child development research projects confirm this ever since Piaget came to the realisation that two- to four-year-olds are egocentric when observing his own children. And working with two to four year-olds every day I would say that an average majority of this age group finds it challenging to step into their counterpart’s shoes.

However, I can certainly observe that a three- or four-year-old can understand that they don’t want to be hurt, for example. They know very well that hurting someone causes pain and I often find that even without adult…

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Manuela Willbold

A digital nomad wannabe and teacher by profession who loves to travel, read, sing and write: https://www.manuelawillbold.com/, https://education.clickdo.co.uk/