I learned early on with The Big Sis that you can’t make someone apologize — you simply cannot force words out of someone else’s mouth. I remember when she was in preschool and would do something that warranted an apology from her to another child and she would flat-out refuse. Short of making threats to get her to apologize (which didn’t feel right), we didn’t really have many other options besides apologizing to the other child on her behalf and hope that she paid attention to the behavior we were trying to model.
In example #4593 of how The Little Sis is completely different from The Big Sis: The other day, The Husband was driving The Little Sis to a gymnastics center for a birthday party. Unfortunately, I got a call from The Husband right around party time — he said that as they arrived at the gymnastics place, The Little Sis threw up in the car, so they were headed back home. I ended up laying her down for her nap that afternoon, and she snuggled up to me and said in a tiny voice, “Mommy, I sorry I fwew up in Daddy’s car today.” Oh, the poor girl! I assured her that she had no reason to apologize for throwing up in the car. It just reminded me how, here she is, apologizing for something beyond her control and thinking about how her actions have affected others, whereas The Big Sis has historically been less empathetic and more attuned to what’s going on in her own world.
(And that’s not to say that The Little Sis is inherently better than The Big Sis…it just goes to show the differences in their personalities.)