Like adults, kids sometimes feel wronged by others—when they aren’t invited to a classmate’s birthday party or a friend divulges their secret, for example. But in the midst of their anger or hurt feelings, they may not realize that forgiveness is an option.
When I asked my three-year-old what it means to forgive, he replied by blowing me a kiss. But the way researchers define forgiveness is different from pardoning, condoning, excusing, or reconciling. Forgiveness has to do with making a decision to free yourself from holding on to resentment and feelings of revenge toward someone who hurt you.