Is An Apology Necessary?

Recently, a 10-year old boy was out bike riding with his dad in our neighborhood.  He Boston Terrier Mailbox 2wasn’t paying attention and rode into our mailbox.  The mailbox, pictured here, was a gift from one of our children and honors our Boston Terrier Riley, who died a year ago.

We all ran outside when we heard the crash.  The kid was fine, just a bit shaken.  He scampered home. (He was staying across the street at a house that rents in our beach-side neighborhood by the week.)  The mailbox on the other hand was badly dented with the door barely hanging on.  The father apologized.  We said we were glad his son wasn’t hurt, and we’d see what we could do to fix the mailbox.

The next day the father left his name, email address and phone number in case we had to pay for repairs.  We once again asked how the boy was.  “Fine,” the father said, “just embarrassed about running into the mailbox.”

The mailbox was fixable, although there are still slight traces of the dents.  We never followed up with the family since we were able to fix it ourselves.

Here’s the question:  Should the young boy apologized in person for denting our mailbox?

If he was embarrassed about it, would it have made sense for his parents to have him write a note?

Or is the apology from his dad sufficient?

Let me know what you think.

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2 Responses to Is An Apology Necessary?

  1. Donald Stewart says:

    If it were my child, I would have let her know everything was going to be ok and that we would apologize together. We’d have a nice little talk about why it’s good to say sorry and hopefully she’d be empowered instead of embarrassed. Accidents happen

  2. Alona says:

    I stumbled across your page while researching Boston Terrier mailboxes and yours is truly amazing! I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your dog, and this is such a lovely way to honor Riley! I would love to know who made that mailbox for you if you happen to have that information.

    In regards to the apology, I am not sure the age of the boy but I assume if he is old enough to ride a bike and feel embarrassed about bumping into your mailbox, he is probably also at the perfect age for his parents to give him the opportunity to apologize and take responsibility. It would probably have made him feel better about the situation as well knowing he made amends rather than continuing to feel embarrassed about it.

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