Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Today I went to meet up with the family and what happened was that today at camp Burger used a marker on a campmate's doll and she was very upset and I was quickly put in the position of attempting to handle the situation perfectly which I stalled on by running and jumping into the nearest truck which was a good thing to do since technically I was still supposed to back the truck into the parking dock.
The standard consequences applied: No Legos or shows. Then we set about cleaning Burger's room. It needed to get done and it was as good a time as any since it gives me time to talk out what I am thinking as far as what had happened. I asked him about his reasons? I asked him if he would like someone to wreck his toys? I asked him if he'd rather be playing in the basement? He said "yes" and I said "me too" and then explained how his actions were affecting everyone else's day and not in a good way and I didn't appreciate it.
Then what I did was I had him write an apology. Three epic sentences that cut straight to the chase.
And when he would write the letters backward, or erase too much, then he had to start over because, I told him, you can't go and give someone an apology if it looks bad because then they won't think you really meant it, and the apology wouldn't count. Every time he got frustrated I just reminded him of that, and also that if he didn't want to write apology notes then he shouldn't mess with people's stuff.
The kicker came when I told him he was going to have to read it to the girl whose doll he wrecked.
I told him he needed to apologize to her face and so he might as well read the note to her, since maybe she couldn't read as well as he could, and also it would really prove that he was sorry and wouldn't do it again, and also that it would show everyone that he was a big boy that could take responsibility.
His response was of nervousness.
Not at the thought of reading in front of people.
He was nervous that she would want to be his girlfriend.
We looked at each other for a second.
It was a good reminder of who I was dealing with.
And it put all of the consequences into a new light.
It knocked me back and I got a new look from a different angle.
So tomorrow we will see how it goes, and the day after that we will see how it goes, and the day after that...