Yesterday, when E and I were getting into the car, she was going slow and I was hurrying her up. We got into a little spat because she wanted to buckle her toy into L's seat (L wasn't with us), and I wanted her to just get in her seat. I realized that there wasn't really any reason to rush her, but I was cranky, so I just said "Fine! Whatever!" and got into my seat. She yelled "FINE!" back.
Then she sat down and started buckling herself and said "Mommy, I'm sorry I yelled at you." That was so neat! We have never forced apologies from her. We believe that a true apology can only come from the heart, and that can only happen when a child knows that what they did is wrong from the conviction in their own conscious.
I apologized for yelling too, and then I helped her buckle her toy into the other seat. Once again reminded that it is so much more peaceful to be her partner rather than her adversary.