0 comment Tuesday, May 13, 2014 |
So, we got the kids together, told them to bring in blankets and a soft toy friend, sat them down on a rug with us and asked them to talk to us, tell us what had happened. And much to our amazement they did.
Son had apparently already 'tricked' his grandmother into letting him out of the bedroom (that must have been the bit when she was holding the bedroom door to keep him in his bedroom) and so after that she sat in his bedroom with him, her back against the door, ignoring him but not letting him out. That's when he escalated his behaviour to hitting and kicking her, trying to make her move out of his way. Charming image, isn't it?
Husband spoke to his parents last night and they had already done a sort of whitewash of the incident, claiming they were not the least bit upset and everything was fine. They want to take Son out on a special trip to show him there are no hard feelings. This shows me they have learnt nothing and are still not listening. I can't think of a worse way to handle this than to reward him for the way he behaved.
I also don't feel that 'punishing' Son is the way to go. Punishing him, taking away his wii, stopping him go to his friend's party this weekend, making him go to bed early, would suit Son very well. That would allow him to be the victim once again, to feel sorry for himself, wallow in the idea that the world is against him. That's a very comfortable place for Son to be.
But he's not the victim here, he's the perpetrator. He's the one that did wrong. He's the one who has got to face up to what he did and apologise. That is a very uncomfortable place for him.
It's the all pervasive shame that these children feel that makes 'being sorry' difficult. They find it hard to believe they 'did a bad thing' and instead believe what their low self-esteem tells them that 'they are a bad'. That's a very painful thing to believe about yourself, and so they fight against it. They don't want to feel sorry, they don't want to admit they did wrong, That's catastrophic for their fragile ego.
But if we can get Son to confront himself over this, to go through the process of remembering what he did, imagining how his grandmother feels, feeling sorry for what he did, That's got to be to his benefit. To learn that in this family, you will be held to account for what you do, you will be made to face it, but when you do, you will be forgiven? I think that could be the biggest lesson of his life to date.
We meet as a family again tonight at 7pm. We'll see.