My daughter Tami’s a pretty tough kiddo for a 10-year-old. She has a horse, figure skates and is a mostly-tomboy sorta gal. She’s wrecked her bike and broke her wrist roller blading last summer. Yesterday she got shoved on the playground and fell face-first to the pavement. Her glasses look like a modern-art sculpture, her cheek’s scraped up and she has her first black eye.
Robert never apologized.
School gave her an ice pack. They did not call me.
Now, I don’t think I’m an overprotective mom. I’m the give-them-time-to-shake-it-off-and-see-what-happens kinda mom. And the kids are honest about when they’re hurt or when they’re injured. The glasses are under warranty and fixable. Tami’s tired, because it’s on the left side of her face and she (like I do) normally sleeps on her left side, so every time she rolled over to sleep like normal she bumped the bruise and woke up. But she’s a bit upset that the kid who flattened her never apologized. And I wish the school would have called.
Yes, it was an accident. Tami said they were playing tag and running and his tag was more shove and she went down. But she had a point when she said, “Mom, all he had to do was say he was sorry.” That hurt her more than anything.
We go through our daily routine, and sometimes what we say or do can hurt someone else. When that moment happens, a simple apology can make all the difference. We have to be able to get along and work together in life, and it’s character-building to be able to man up and apologize. Now I know some “big tough guys” might think it unmanly to do so, and some parents don’t want their kids to be regarded as wimps, but honesty is key to character. When you’re hurt, say so. When you hurt someone else, acknowledge it – and try to make it right. Robert couldn’t fix her glasses or unbruise her face, but a simple apology would have gone a long way toward fixing bruised feelings. I don’t think anyone wants to leave the impression they simply don’t care.
Something I hope we can all keep in mind.