Rule 78: Sorry

I have always been pretty solid at sports, and I can throw a three- pointer and I can strike a healthy drive down the fairway, so I don't know why my hand-to-eye coordination always seems to check out at the exact moment when I am lifting my kid into his car seat. I have banged his poor little head on the car chassis maybe 50 times, and that is sadly not an exaggeration. If one day the doctor tells me his frontal cerebral cortex is not fully developing, I'm gonna have to put my hand up and say "My bad". And that is actually my point. I think it is a good practice to apologise to your kids when you make a mistake, no matter how small the error, or how small your child.

If you threw out his favourite toy by accident, or if you ate all the potato chips that had been promised to him, or if you clumsily stood on his foot and it's bleeding, make sure you say "Sorry", because it pacifies him and it's the right thing to do.

And hopefully over time it will show your kids that it is the right thing to do when they make a mistake and hurt someone smaller and less significant than them.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 21, 2017, with the headline 'Rule 78: Sorry '. Print Edition | Subscribe