Expectations vs Ability

So, I recently got myself into another one of >these< situations again, only this time it was with the girl. I stupidly decided that she was not going to be let off my lap until she apologised for something.

Of course we sat for a long time, whilst she stared at me blankly.

'This has gone on long enough!' I fumed in my mind, 'She is old enough to say sorry!'

It's a familiar situation. I love that fact that my son is old enough to reason with, and we can take our 'Plants Grown Up' book and talk through what the bible says about his actions and how he can work on that particular behaviour. My daughter is just not ready for these kinds of conversations yet.

'It's one word!' I thought, 'how hard can it be! Just say it you stubborn baby!'

And that's when it dawned on me, that I don't think I've ever heard her say a word with an 's' sound  in it. Her brother taught her the alphabet and she still says 'nayk' for 'S' ('S is for Snake') whilst correctly using phonics for most of the other letters. I realised that maybe she couldn't say sorry, and was embarrassed to try.

So I taught her the sign language for sorry instead. In under 30 seconds she had shown me the sign multiple times and hugged and kissed me.

She's still stubborn, and it's hit and miss whether she wants to apologise, but now I know she is able.

Sometimes I set the bar too high for my children, and I need to remember:

They're just kids.

If we want our kids to come to us, if we want to be approachable as parents, we need to making it easy for our children to come to us, and sometimes that might mean communicating on their level, in a way that is inclusive.


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