I use to feel the social pressure of the perceived judgement of other parents and would demand a sorry from my child. I remember trying to extract a sorry from my 18month old when he took a tractor from another boy, the panic rose inside and I madly found myself apologising to the other mum. I'm so glad I've moved away from this.
Children's minds are not developed enough to give an apology on demand. They haven't had time to work out what it is they have done, let alone FEEL sorry for it.
I've dropped trying to please societies pressure and I've moved towards my children 'FEELING' what's happened first; this is the gift. In each altercation, there is an opportunity. An opportunity to build emotional intelligence, to grow empathy.
My children, even my youngest at 18 months, given the time and patience would FEEL the others pain. I could see it drop into their little bodies. The eyes would change, the body, the voice and energy, there was concern and empathy in their body and THAT is the apology. My little girl would toddle over and smooth her brothers face, or bring him a toy, THAT is the apology; not that 5 letter word that is thrown at a situation without thought or feeling just because its a done thing or to get us off the hook.
We have an opportunity to grow the emotional intelligence and enhance empathy in all of our children. Lets breath and take the time needed, without blame and judgement and teach our children probably one of the biggest life skills there is, to feel another's pain. In this way, it acts as the preventative tool. As they get older they already know the consequence of actions and it is this that stops them from bullying or being mean and not the fear of being slapped or isolated from the rest or shouted at.
We have an opportunity, so take it, even if it is uncomfortable at first when all are looking at you.
So here are the four steps to true Resolution
1) Make sure the injured or hurt child is alright, the broken toy or situation is safe..
2) Be gentle, describe what's just happened to your child, show them the pain and sadness the other is in or you are in. Get them to look at the situation and ask them how this makes them feel and where they feel this in their body; without the need for a direct answer as such. Older children can put it into words but with younger children, you'll have to help them name the feelings
3) Ask them what can they do to help their friend right now. What they can do to help the situation. Trust your child will feel the others pain and their own. They will 'feel' the sorry and affirm this in them noticing the 'sorry' when it comes.
4) Be big enough to drop it and not hang on to it and welcome the child back in with a clean slate. Don't refer back to it with blame and accusation rather refer back to it with the resolution in mind and how well your child worked through it and resolved it.
Just last week I stepped onto the cancer conveyor belt and faced the possibility of my own death. Staring straight into the eyes of one's own mortality was probably the hardest thing I have ever faced. It was the most traumatic five days of my life.
I tumbled off the cancer conveyor belt on Monday with an absolute all clear, I was to be here, I was getting to stay, my life was back on! So many aren't this lucky.
In those five days I rolled out the worse case scenario and what I would need to do in order for my family to not only survive this but to thrive.
I created a 'To Do' List which included writing the manual 'How To Run The Maddalena-Potter Home' for Rob. Details of how Christmass and Birthdays are run, down to food likes and dislikes, timetables and school runs.
Booking them all into a grief counsellor for two years so they could all get the support they would need.
Finding and hiring someone that could take on my role and raise Morgy for me; she's 4 and whilst Dadda is the Biz she would need her Mamma type cuddles and love.
I started the list of videos I would need to film, Happy Birthday ones throughout the ages to vids about changing bodies, and periods, and sex and love and all those chats I wouldn't get to have.
Setting up three email accounts for my children and popping the vids in there along with special pics and info for each child so they could access me, my knowledge and mum wisdom whenever they needed a mum hit.
Only after I had planned how I could make it easier for them, (if that was even possible) did I look at what I could do to survive. I devoured several books and quickly decided to ditch the dairy and processed and to start really viewing food as my medicine.
The realisation that we will all have to leave here at some point is a massive slap in the chops. Yes, we all know it but this kind of thing brings it well and truly home!
And then on day 4 I popped. It all just fell away, the fear and the panic and the 'To Do' Lists and the mental load I didn't even know I had been carrying around with me, just fell away. I felt clear and calm and really really grateful that I was on the cancer conveyor belt and getting this sorted.
Those five days made me really see my family like I had never seen them before. I could see through the moods and the arguments and the day to dayness of life and really really see them, it put everything into perspective.
Life is short, so very very short and right now I feel so very very alive like I've been given a second chance.
Everything seems to be in 'High Definition', Morgy's laugh, Lohkii's twinkle in his bright blue mischevious eyes, Jai recounting his latest scooter trick and Rob's gentle but solid touch; I'm soaking up every drop.
I am their everything, their anchor, their whole lives and I feel so very blessed and honoured to have this life. I don't know where I was before, I wasn't 'here' that's for sure. Here is so very 'HERE' if you know what I mean?
So keep checking those bossoms ladies, my signal was the pain, no lumps that I could feel, no redness or weird indentations, just pain. They found the lump using an ultrasound scan, luckily the biopsy came back all clear. So check your breasts and if you have any concerns go to the Doc, your life depends on it and your families will thank you for it.
Love and Light, Trish x