So, the other day was just a normal day at the Hausler Home. The boys were running around playing, as I was waiting for my 10 year old daughter to come home from school. She came home and immediately asked if she could go out and play.
Of course, I said, “not until you’re done with your homework and your chores”.
She preceeded to finish her homework, and asked what her chores were. I let her know what she needed to do, and to tell me when she is finished so that she can go out and play. But alas to my suprise (not really), she was gone. I came downstairs to see how she was doing on her chores and I saw they weren’t finished – and I knew she had headed outside.
I text my dear neighbor asking if Emma had been there – explaining the situation and that she needed to come home. My neighbor sent her right over.
As my girl walked up the driveway I stood outside with my arms crossed in front of me and a straight, emotionless look on my face.
“Am I in trouble..?” she quietly muttered under her breath. “What do you think?” I firmly asked.
We walked in the door and I suddenly had a flashback of what it was like to get in trouble as a child. The pounding of your heart with the anticipation of the punishment to come.. and I heard a quiet voice say, “it’s going to be okay. Her tears and remorse are what will form her into a woman responsive to conviction.”
I preceeded to tell her how disappointed I was that she did not only finish her chores – but she left without saying a word. The tears streamed down her face as she hyperventilated and dramatically expressed her sadness and apology.
This has taught me three important lessons:
- Let Them Cry. As long as you know that they’re not throwing a tantrum, allow them to experience this conviction.
- Demonstrate Forgiveness. After allowing Emma to say that she was sorry, I hugged her firmly and told her that I forgave her. She kept crying perfusely and I reassured her that she’s forgiven, and it’s done with.
- To Move On. To forgive doesn’t always mean to forget, but we also shouldn’t remind our children of the wrongs that they’ve done. When she would bring it up again, following with “I’m such a bad girl”, I’d say “I have no idea what you’re talking about. That is the past and you’ve already been forgiven”.