Yesterday, my kids had a scratchy day. One of them had thumped the other during a football kick about together with us and their behaviour continued to slip all day.
I didn’t occur to me until close to bed that their bad feelings towards all day were a result of the earlier conflict. They’d been too cross to speak about it at time and we didn’t delve deeply into it, sort of let them make up and deal with it themselves moment. I’m also not one for forcing a ‘sorry’ when it isn’t meant just because we think as adults it’s what they ‘should’ do – a should sorry. I’d rather step back and let it cool down, problem solve it, talk reasonably and let them create their own heart felt sorry.
We sat in the lounge together when everyone was well fed and in a better mood to replay a little of what had gone down. We all took it in turns to talk about how we had felt at the time and reacted and why it resulted in the punching.
Finally we identified the primary feeling, the puncher had felt jealous of the other and perceived them to be having more attention from a parent whilst playing the football game and this had been an ongoing emotion.
The emotion of jealously wasn’t recognised by any of this at the time, and it had escalated to anger.
Nobody was blamed. We simply discussed other ways it could have been handled both as parents and kids.
Just by talking it through and taking it in turns to listen to each other, today the atmosphere was completely changed. It was a calm, more playful and connected day with the children mostly playing with each other.
And there was a real sorry without an adult prompt.