“Apologize to me for talking that way!” The words flew out of my mouth, setting me up for an epic battle of wills. When my 6-year-old daughter finally mumbled an apology through her tears, I wondered if all the drama had been worth it. Had she learned anything by being pushed to say “I’m sorry”? Experts explain what’s important is not simply saying the words but learning to take responsibility for a mistake. “Children this age may resist apologizing because they believe the mistake wasn’t their fault,” says Ericka Anderson, a licensed professional counselor at The Healing Grove, in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. “They need reassurance that even though they misbehaved, they are not ‘bad’ and are still loved.” By breaking the apology process into a few steps you can help your child understand how her actions affect others and learn when to make amends.