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The hardest word
April 18, 2014 2:47 PM   Subscribe


 
Mea culpa?
posted by sonascope at 3:01 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Simple, and good advice. I shared it with my friends with kids and those that work with kids in some capacity.

There are powerful reasons to insist that kids verbalize clearly their understanding, their intent for the future, and their willingness to forgive as well... Even if, in the beginning, the verbalizations are over-adaptive behaviors, they are learning, and it moves them in the right direction. Eventually they begin to internalize the process, the ethics, the norms.
posted by HuronBob at 3:04 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


It's amazing to me the number of people who think, "I am sorry that you were offended." is an actual apology. Not just the people who say it, but the people who seem to be willing to let things go as long as the s word is uttered.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:07 PM on April 18 [47 favorites]


As someone who has apologized several times in my life, I can tell you that there is nothing more amazing than the feeling of a sincere apology being accepted by someone else, with specifics accounted for and lessons learned.

To be forgiven when you are that clear with your own actions is liberating. And that is the gift of a proper apology, you get to experience something that you will never experience from saying "I'm sorry you were offended."

Thanks for this link.
posted by salishsea at 3:13 PM on April 18 [14 favorites]


Thank you for posting this. One of the hardest parts of working with little kids for me has always been this exact thing: helping children figure out how to take responsibility for their actions and cultivate a genuine response when their actions hurt somebody. I'm an only child, and as a kid myself I could not grok the faux apology cycle my classmates got into with each other as did as kids do and were vicious to their peers. I figured that everyone else had siblings with whom they were always acting this stuff out, and when I operated as I did at home, where apologies were always genuine and timely, my peers would not engage with me, nor could I expect the same behavior of them. This kind of conversation model is useful therefore because it's a structure that I think I can train some of my students to do on the regular and really get why it matters.
posted by Hermione Granger at 3:19 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


There are many adults I know - including myself - who could use a lesson in this. Thank you.
posted by divabat at 3:23 PM on April 18 [6 favorites]


This is awesome. I can see how at the start it might be kind of ritualised, but if the person internalises it, it can be very powerful.

I’m sorry for…eating the last cookie
This is wrong because…you were saving it for later
In the future, I will…ask you first if you want it (and buy more cookies)
Will you forgive me?

4. everyone profits from a sincere apology.
posted by arcticseal at 3:26 PM on April 18 [9 favorites]


Wow - love this. Seems to simple and obvious once it is outlined. I'm printing a version of this for my kids today! (and for myself to use every time I fuck up in my relationship, with work colleagues, with my family)...
posted by greenhornet at 3:29 PM on April 18


There's an enormous world of difference between "I'm sorry you were offended" and "I'm sorry I offended you."

One of the biggest lessons I learned as a young adult was what an amazing deed it was to be willing to say "I'm sorry", and to be ready to accept responsibility for my actions. It seems like such a basic thing, but it's very rarely taught, let alone in the clear and informative way the author did with her class.

In my job as a waiter, many years ago, I experienced some great illustrations of the power of apologizing. I watched again and again as some of my coworkers would blame bad service on everything but themselves - most often the fault was ascribed to the kitchen staff, who weren't there to come to their own defense - and the customers knew that wasn't the truth, you could see the skeptical looks on their faces. When I screwed up, but apologized and took my lumps (and followed through by not screwing up anymore), it was amazing how different the reaction almost always was: understanding, forgiveness, sometimes even more of a tip than I honestly deserved in that instance. But I had treated them with respect, accepted my responsibility, and didn't insult them with obvious lies; and they appreciated that.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:43 PM on April 18 [11 favorites]


Oh - and in reference to a few comments I've seen lately in various threads, saying something along the lines of "I'd love to hear advice from people in the Metafilter community who are older than me": this is high-priority and rewarding advice to take to heart.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:52 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


I’m sorry for…eating the last cookie
This is wrong because…you were saving it for later
In the future, I will…ask you first if you want it (and buy more cookies)
Will you forgive me?


See, I knew William Carlos Williams was doing it wrong somehow.
posted by darksasami at 3:54 PM on April 18 [49 favorites]


My wife grew up in a "sorry" house and it's basically a reflex to the point that she doesn't even know what she's supposedly apologizing for, it's just a habit like anything else. (I'm talking about small things like "I bumped into you in the hallway", not big things, obviously).
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 4:03 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


It's amazing to me the number of people who think, "I am sorry that you were offended." is an actual apology.

Which is why I prefer "Congratulations, you got to be offended. I'm only too happy to have played into your preferred personal narrative today. No, really, don't thank me, it's nothing." Far less of that troublesome ambiguity.

I don't really do this. But god damn it's tempting sometimes.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:11 PM on April 18 [16 favorites]


No revenge is as sweet as a request for forgiveness from someone who demonstrates sincere penitence.

I think it's often better to leave off the first step, simply because most people only say the "I'm sorry" part and the person you've hurt may stop listening before you get to the good part. You can start with:

1. Eating that cookie was wrong.
(2. I shouldn't have eaten it / I'm sorry I ate it) <--this may not even be necessary, but I think it's best here
3. Next time I'll ask first before eating the last cookie.
4. Will you forgive me?
posted by straight at 4:13 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


"My wife grew up in a "sorry" house and it's basically a reflex to the point that she doesn't even know what she's supposedly apologizing for..."

Ghostride the Whip, what part of Canada did she grow up in?
posted by salishsea at 4:26 PM on April 18 [16 favorites]


But... my mother:

"Sorry for trying to help you with your problem.

I was wrong because of course you know everything.

(In the future) I'll never ever try to help you, ever again, in fact, I won't even speak to you for the next few days to give you your space.

(I said) I'm sorry, forgive me!"

Rinse, repeat...
posted by Danila at 4:31 PM on April 18 [32 favorites]


Funnily enough, this is the apology formula I email my anal retentive boss with (minus the 'will you forgive me') when he nitpicks something. It seems to work well but in my head it's dripping with sarcasm.
posted by Jess the Mess at 4:36 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


You know, this post is great, and it's a good form for constructing a sincere apology.

But really, I would rather start with "I apologize for..." than "I'm sorry for..."

Because "sorry" is a word which has to do with having sympathy or empathy, feeling bad about the condition that someone else is in.

I can't count how many times across my decades of being alive someone has related to me some unfortunate event in their life or day (big or small), and I've said "Oh, I'm sorry about that" and their response has been "oh, it's not your fault".

Of COURSE it was not my fault! I was expressing empathy with you during your time of duress or frustration, not taking the blame for the circumstances!

How did "sorry" get to be equated with taking the blame? Because children have this drilled into them when they are young: you do something wrong, you tell the other person you are sorry.

Anyway, off my soapbox now. I like the outline provided by the linked article. I'm just not going to use it exactly verbatim.
posted by hippybear at 4:47 PM on April 18 [22 favorites]


My wife grew up in a "sorry" house and it's basically a reflex to the point that she doesn't even know what she's supposedly apologizing for, it's just a habit like anything else.

I can't trace the origins, but I do this. It's usually just a variation of "pardon me" but I also used to have this conversation with an ex all the time:

Him: [Vent about something.]
Me: I'm sorry.
Him: You don't have to apologize.
Me: Not apologizing, empathizing.

When I am actually sorry for my words or actions I usually say, "I apologize." It probably sounds a little stilted or formal but it's an important distinction in my mind and probably puts me in a more humble mindset. The article's script has helpful things everyone can adapt.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:47 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


Reminds me of the recent NYTimes article on the Rwandan reconciliation process (also here in the blue). Amazing, heartbreaking (and restoring) stuff. Thanks for the link - the world is better the more people get good at this.
posted by dylanjames at 4:48 PM on April 18


Also, please understand, when I read the title of the article, I was for a minute convinced it was going to instruct Canadians to say "saw-ree" instead of "sore-ee". *ducking*
posted by hippybear at 4:48 PM on April 18 [6 favorites]


Nthing that the script is great. Also nthing that I could do it sarcastically because sarcasm is my second language, But when done right, for something you're sincerely sorry for and mean to apologize for, the script is powerful.
posted by immlass at 5:00 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


I had major problems with a couple of former partners because they would never apologize. To me, it did not seem like a huge thing to apologize. Neither had very good social skills and could be abusive and I wonder if that plays into it - in comparison, the partners who had good social skills and all of my friends apologize freely. When I was married, it became a major point of friction. I explained at length to my partner that it was hugely important to me that he apologize if he was late, lied, forgot to do something, insulted me, scared me, broke an agreement, etc. He always just shrugged at me and glared. If I did say I needed to hear an apologize, he'd smirk, sneer and then say, "Sorry" and walk away. With both those partners, but especially in my marriage, it seemed to me that they really didn't get what an apology was about and how it plays into repairing a relationship and how working to avoid hurt in future was important. But perhaps the lack of respect they showed me in general is part of it.

> I'm talking about small things like "I bumped into you in the hallway", not big things,
> obviously)

I'm a Canadian, so now I'm perplexed, because I would automatically apologize for that too and I think even my non-apologizing former partners would have said sorry for that. You have me stymied now.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 5:43 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


Canadians (stereotypically, and in my dialect of Canadian English) use "sorry" for "excuse me," as distinct from a real apology; which is why I use (sharp, annoyed) "Sorry!" for things like "Hey, you're standing blocking the subway steps!" and "If you do not get out of the way, I'm going to go ahead and shove past you."
posted by Jeanne at 6:12 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


I think the sorry said for bumping into another in the hallway, supermarket isle etc is more an acknowledgement of 'I validate your right to be in this space too' rather than 'I need to beg forgiveness for impinging on your space'.
posted by Kerasia at 6:15 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


Of COURSE it was not my fault! I was expressing empathy with you during your time of duress or frustration, not taking the blame for the circumstances!

Yes, this is a problem with the English language, that we don't have a concise phrase for expressing empathy. When it was brought to my attention recently that "lo siento" is pretty much just that, I started saying "lo siento" or "I'm Spanish-sorry" instead.
posted by clavicle at 6:16 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


One of the more idiotic notions I've ever heard was: "It's easier to say you're sorry than to get permission."

I favor the word "apologize" for several reasons, but mostly because "sorry" seems to me to imply something about my internal landscape that I may not want (or be able) to expose at the time; for example, if I am upset and haven't yet worked my way through the interaction. It may take me more time to discover an empathetic connection to the harm I've caused than to realize that I've made an error.

Nice essay. Wouldn't it be wonderful it this teacher had planted seeds of civility that will blossom into full-blown acts kindness?
posted by mule98J at 6:18 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Yes, this is a problem with the English language, that we don't have a concise phrase for expressing empathy.

"I sympathize" works pretty well.
posted by straight at 7:00 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


I grew up in a "apologize or else" household which resulted in a lot of disingenuous/insincere apologies.

With my kids, we also require an apology but it's simply in the form:

I'm sorry because I did ___.

Which is a step up towards this because "I'm sorry" is just a "I'll go through this step and I'm done" whereas actually stating what you did is one step more towards accepting the actual consequences.
posted by plinth at 7:07 PM on April 18


This method for apologizing is good and we are working along those lines with our five year old. With that said though, the link at the bottom of the article on Preventing Misbehavior is a lot of wishful thinking and overestimation of how much rationalization truly little kids are capable of. Having a kid list off that they'd like LEGOs and then thinking you aren't going to compound the meltdown with some seeded desire is a level of naivety I can't begin to address.
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:12 PM on April 18


Of COURSE it was not my fault! I was expressing empathy with you

Oh yeah, I hate this too. It seems like some of us expect this to be used both ways like this and others don't, so this happens every so often.

As seen on xkcd
posted by wildcrdj at 7:13 PM on April 18 [5 favorites]


Oh, man, my wife and I were just talking about apologies with my son's playmates. One of the boys in my son's preschool class (let's call him Johnny) is a notorious terror. He picks fights, screams in everyone's ear, etc. etc. You know the type. When a child is 2 or 3, there's some leeway there. Children that age aren't always able to understand how they hurt others, and apologizing can be an alien concept.

Alien, that is, if the parents never make their kid apologize for anything.

Johnny is now five, so that leeway is more or less gone; he should be old enough to discern basic right from wrong. And he should be able to apologize when he does something bad. But the pattern with this kid is always the same:

He does something bad. Half the time, his mother ignores the bad behavior, but when she can't plausibly deny it, she'll react by SCREAMING at him at the top of her lungs, "Why did you [insert bad behavior]??" And she'll grab him by the arm and drag him away from the situation. The other day, Johnny came up to my wife and, as he was doing his ninja moves or whatever, whacked her solid on the bridge of her nose. It hurt like hell. Johnny's mom did the screaming thing, then dragged him away. She returned and apologized profusely to my wife, who played it very cool and didn't say what was on her mind.

She didn't say "I don't want an apology from you. I want to hear that from Johnny." But she knows that Johnny has likely never apologized to anyone other than his parents, and maybe even not them. He doesn't know how, he doesn't understand what an apology even is.

Whenever I hear someone (usually politicians) make the statement "If I offended anyone then I am sorry..." I think that their parents probably never taught them apologies, either.
posted by zardoz at 7:22 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Non-Canadians or Brits: If I say sorry to somebody who has bumped into me, that's a prompt not an apology! I expect them to say sorry back to me, and would be pretty pissed off if they just accepted my apology like I was the one in the wrong.

Good article, Martinwisse, thanks for posting it. I can think of a few organisations that could benefit from it too.
posted by tinkletown at 7:30 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Excellent piece. I bookmarked it.

wildcrdj: "Of COURSE it was not my fault! I was expressing empathy with you

This is one of my least favorite things that people do. It's beyond idiotic. When I'm feeling kind, I will respond with, "I'm sorry to hear that." When I'm feeling a little snarkier, I will give a lesson: "There's a difference between 'I'm sorry I broke your lamp' and 'I'm sorry your grandmother died.' "

The fact that so many people obstinately refuse to make this distinction is just weird. It's never ambiguous. Under no set of circumstances would I be apologizing for my role in causing your grandmother's death. I think the "It's not your fault" is a tic born out of some kind of awkwardness.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:01 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


"There's a difference between 'I'm sorry I broke your lamp' and 'I'm sorry your grandmother died.' "

Not if you clocked the grandmother with the lamp!

Sorry.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:38 PM on April 18 [15 favorites]


oh, teachers like this, why aren't they everywhere? Gems.
posted by dabitch at 1:08 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


I thought it was going to be "a better way to say sorry - say it with a cup of cocoa!"

This is very good, thank you!

I am old but I will use it too. And teach it to my kids, if I ever have any.
posted by ipsative at 1:39 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


I've really struggled with this over the years.

I definitely have improved taking responsibility for my actions; it's now easy to say "I'm sorry I did that; I should have known better" when that's the case. But I have trouble with a couple of other scenarios:

1. I did something to cause offense, but I don't really know *what*. I'm perfectly willing to take responsibility because I don't like hurting people even unintentionally. Even if I couldn't reasonably have known better, I can accept that I hurt someone, feel remorse, and want to do better in the future. But in this case, I don't know exactly what the problem was.

2. The "I'm sorry your grandmother died" one. I can wish things were better without blaming myself for things, can't I?)

I totally get that decoupling blame from the apology sounds horrible and insincere; it feels that way to me too. But it doesn't mean that I never blame myself, only that I can be sorry for things even if I haven't quite figured out what's wring
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 2:49 AM on April 19


Nanukthedog, the method she described is pretty much what we did with our kids, and you're right; the first few times it doesn't work. But after a while, with consistency (i.e., don't say no and then give in after the tantrum, like, EVER), it really does work. Every time. And after it starts working, all you have to tell them is something like, "Today's trip to XYZ is not a trip for you. We're getting this and this and this but today is not a time for you to expect me to buy you things. Got it?" And they get it.
posted by cooker girl at 5:17 AM on April 19


Conrad Cornelius, that seems a little harsh. If someone was taught only the apologetic meaning of "sorry", they may genuinely not realize that there's another meaning.

I learned this in my later teens when someone was kind enough to explain it to me after one of many awkward misunderstandings. It wasn't an obstinate refusal to understand, just a hole in my understanding of English.

Besides, it can absolutely be ambiguous. Does "I'm sorry you didn't like the movie" mean "I apologize for choosing a movie you disliked" or "I empathize with you having to sit through a movie you didn't enjoy"?
posted by Turbo-B at 5:32 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


In Canada, we have superheroes around the word.
posted by Dodecadermaldenticles at 6:28 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


  One of the more idiotic notions I've ever heard was: "It's easier to say you're sorry than to get permission."

That's a misquotation of Grace Hopper's statement “It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.” It's rather more about innovation in a bureaucratic culture than trying not to apologize.
posted by scruss at 9:04 AM on April 19 [5 favorites]


Seconding scruss. 'Better to ask forgiveness than permission' isn't about apology, and it's a useful phrase.
It applies to a dilemma in which you face an impending decision outside your comfort zone. Choose your risk: Delay action to get permission, or make a decision that may turn out wrong.
posted by LonnieK at 9:20 AM on April 19


The sympathizing use of "sorry" is something that completely irrationally drives me up the wall about my MIL. If you mention any sort of slightly negative experience, she says, "I'm sorry," with exactly the same tone as if she were responding to you shouting at her, "Ow, you've stepped on my foot." I'm sure she just hits the word "sorry" a little hard to emphasize the depth of her sympathy, but it strikes me in entirely the wrong way, and I get this feeling that she is somehow offended that I have blamed her for something for which she is not responsible.

I guess grew up saying things like, "that's terrible," or "how difficult" or "what a pain," to express sympathy, not "I'm sorry."
posted by Compared to what? at 10:30 AM on April 19


I will try this formula myself. I never learned to apologize like this and if I never do then how will I teach my three year old to?
Besides, she's three.
"Say sorry."
"No."
posted by Omnomnom at 1:35 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


This is good! I've always shied away from forcing my kids to apologise because, if you have to force them, you just gave them permission to do whatever crappy thing they did, as long as they apologise afterward. Making them acknowledge the specific thing they did, though, is much more likely to lead to them understanding why it's bad in the first place. Making them explicitly consider alternative behaviour is much more likely to lead to them not doing the same thing over and over again. Definitely going to give this a try.

Yeah, “It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.” is more about what is sometimes the only way to get something done if you work within a bureaucracy. If you do something outside procedure and it works, you're usually fine, but you accept that, if it doesn't, you're going to have to apologise and take whatever lumps are coming. I take this approach when I believe quick action is needed and the mindless maze of bureaucracy in my workplace prevents me from doing what needs to be done, but only when I'm confident that it will achieve the goal in a way that wouldn't be possible by following procedure. Unfortunately, some people also take this approach in personal relationships from a perspective of 'well, it's done now, sorry I didn't ask first, but no point in getting upset about something you can't change'.
posted by dg at 3:38 PM on April 19


I think if you can get #1 and #4, you are doing A-OK, but that doesn't mean you can't strive for #2 and #3, especially for kids 5 and up. For some, I think the rote script would be good; for other kids, a more logical progression of: what happened; what was the problem; how can we avoid that in the future, etc. works better.

I do think that #2 is very important but it's also the hardest--learning to admit that you were wrong is nearly as important as learning to apologize. The latter can be faked (even using the provided script); admitting you were wrong can't (well, maybe the top-notch fakers can).
posted by mrgrimm at 3:41 PM on April 19


Turbo-B: "Conrad Cornelius, that seems a little harsh."

Perhaps I was a bit harsh. I would find it surprising, though, for native English-speaking adults not to understand the difference between the two meanings. And I'm just expressing a pet peeve. Like I say, I might get a little snarky in response (some of the time), but I don't go around getting all worked up about it and treating people shabbily just because they say it.

And I didn't mean that the use of the word "sorry" can never be ambiguous. I mean that when I say, "I'm sorry" in response to the news that your grandmother died, in that sort of situation, it's never ambiguous. Well, except, as Greg_Ace says, if I'm the one who whacked her with the lamp.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 6:03 PM on April 19


A psychologist told us not to force our kids to apologise, as in the opening example, because it teaches them to say a sociopathic sorry with no empathy.

I had nothing till I saw this article. I just asked my kids if they had anything they'd like to say. The empathy was no less empty.

I'm really going to try this. And if it doesn't work?? I guess they'll be sociopaths with nice manners and neat hair.
posted by taff at 4:21 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Isn't it better to just not do anything that requires an apology?
posted by judson at 7:05 AM on April 21


Sure, in an ideal world. In this one, however, very few of us are perfect shining paragons who never make mistakes, never perform a deed with unforeseen consequences, and can avoid inadvertently stepping on someone's toes or saying an unkind word 100% of the time.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:49 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


I started saying "lo siento" or "I'm Spanish-sorry" instead.

I always thought of "lo siento" as "what a shame." Which translates perfectly into English.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:08 AM on April 21


How did "sorry" get to be equated with taking the blame?

Oddly enough, I was just listening to a piece about how German is adopting a lot of English words lately, one of which is "sorry" specifically because it allows the user to express sympathy without accepting blame. Entschuldigung implies fault (literally, "excuse me") and es tut mir leid ("It makes me sad") can have too strong an emotional connotation. So, Germans are just saying "sorry" now.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:29 AM on April 21


"Entschuldigen" is the the standard German word for "(to) excuse", but it consists of

- the root "schuldig", which is the standard word for "guilty",
- and the prefix "ent-", which means remove, or away from.

So it's got a really strong feeling of "take the guilt off of me". I can't figure out why they're not using es tut mir leid, though. It's always struck me as a great way of expressing commiseration.

/not native German speaker.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:05 PM on April 21


clavicle: I started saying "lo siento" or "I'm Spanish-sorry" instead.

Ruthless Bunny: I always thought of "lo siento" as "what a shame." Which translates perfectly into English.

Yahoo answers has you covered - I understand it as "ALE" put it:
In that phrase the subject is omitted. It would be "Yo lo siento" . And "siento", is the first person singular and comes from the irregular verb "sentir". "Sentir" can be literally translanted as to feel, to perceive, sense, to feel, to have a feeling for something or even hear, depending on the context. In the case you mention it means to be sorry, to regret.
For this reason, I also like "lo siento," but it only means something if people understand you, kind of like obscenities. They might feel nice to say, but are meaningless to the recipient unless they speak the same language.


scruss: That's a misquotation of Grace Hopper's statement “It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.” It's rather more about innovation in a bureaucratic culture than trying not to apologize.

Or in business-speak, "be bold, take risks and break rules, but be willing to pay for them in the end," which often gets abbreviated (and abused) down to "break rules and pay the fines if they catch you."


Personally, when I'm apologizing for something, I say "I apologize ...." I started doing this in my prior government job, where people would often bristle if I started out saying "I'm sorry" about anything, and I'd get "you're not really sorry" or "sorry doesn't help..."
posted by filthy light thief at 2:02 PM on April 21


benito.strauss: "So it's got a really strong feeling of "take the guilt off of me". I can't figure out why they're not using es tut mir leid, though. It's always struck me as a great way of expressing commiseration. "

Well, it's a tacit admission that the speaker is a not heartless robot. And you know how Germans love them a robot...
posted by pwnguin at 11:15 PM on April 21


Seriously, the word "Sorry" is very tough to say face to face. I'm always preferred best way to say "sorry" is gift a card or send message to convince.
posted by sophiahennry at 1:17 AM on April 22


I don't like this. It just enforces a really thorough confession, on the verge of emotional violence. People are entitled to think they were right all along, even kids. Denying them that last little space is severely authoritarian.
posted by Segundus at 1:46 PM on April 25


I mean, I think parents should teach by example, not by playing God. who knows who's right and will humiliate whoever's wrong. I'm sure that's not what anyone meant.
posted by Segundus at 2:02 PM on April 25


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