Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Day 16: Something you wrote

I wrote this out for my two older kids this past winter.  

They'd gone into an area of a neighbor's yard, with her son {younger than them}, where she'd asked them not to play due to the fact that it was January and m-u-d-to-the-capital-dee outside.  They got mud on their shoes, duh, and rather than acknowledging that, they ignored it and proceeded to track clods of it all over the carpet in their garage.

Neighbor was upset - justifiably so.  I was, too, truth be told, because they had dishonored her instructions and then didn't think about what they were doing afterwards, making an even bigger mess of the situation.

So, we had a primer on how to write a heartfelt, meaningful apology, per above.  

Readers, do we agree that this is a lost art in our society today?  

We blame, we excuse, we justify.  We slap out terse and vague, "I'm sorries," before we get too comfortable with any kind of accountability falling on our shoulders.  

But, I expect more.

I want my children to recognize shame and heed it, if they need to.  I don't want them to shrug it off their backs like ducks with water.  No, if my kids have done something wrong, I WANT shame and remorse to plague them, acting as the impetus to launch them into 1.) a sincere apology in which they own their misbehaviors and 2.) an introspective state that leads them away from repeating said misbehavior.  

I also want them to be able to see their deeds from a perspective other than their own - because, quite often, what we do is not perceived as we had intended, and if we are unwilling to step outside of our own understanding, we'll never be able to truly mean any apology that may be uttered.

Their resulting apologies were quite sweet, and they did feel badly {as they should have}, and I can honestly say that it has made a difference in the way they've respected other people's spaces.  

Which is a huge parenting win that I'd forgotten about.  

So, it's a good thing to pull out old pics for prompts like this :)


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