Life Replay: Teaching a child to understand sorry

I think I am going to start a little thing called a life replay. See, hindsight is always 20/20 and there are loads of times in your life where you are going to wish you had said or done something because it was the right thing to do but you didn’t because of various reasons. When this happens to me I want to write it here so that if a similar situation presents itself again I handle it better.

Yesterday I had to attend a 9-yr old’s birthday party. His parents house was huge and very expensive. Early on in the day I was talking with the kids and they were a friendly and funny lot. They certainly seemed privileged but well behaved.

About 15 minutes later the birthday boy wanted to photobomb his older cousin. I, not think it was rude cause kids do it all the time, let him.  Well in the process he banged her head with his pretty hard. Like smack crack hard. She was poised enough not to cry but she did tell his mom and so did the other girls. The mom asked her son did he tell them he was sorry. The boy stared at his mom and said nothing. She said you really should say sorry. The boy continued to stare at her. The mom went back to whatever she was doing and the boy went on about his party like nothing happened. I looked at the cousin and one side of her face was noticeably pink and roughed up.  I asked her if it hurt and she said did it ever and I said if it swells then to ice it a little.

I was disturbed by it a little, as I always am when people don’t do the most basic rearing of their children. Later that night Peter said, “I wonder if they know they are raising a sociopath.”  Inside my mind I gasped because that kid sure as hell should have learned better by now. You learn to say sorry when you are 3 not when you are 9.

That kid just learned “Fuck all ya’ll I do what I want.”

What a terrible thing to learn so young.  Not saying that he might not turn out all right but it certainly is setting up for a huge problem he’ll cause when he’s 15 or 20 or 25 and he’ll just think he can do whatever cause there are no consequences. Of course his parents, who seemed like nice people, will never understand what they did wrong.

I, not being his mom, couldn’t really have said anything or could I?  Should I have sat him down for a moment and explained in a way he could ‘get it’? Would I be able to?  In my head I’ve thought out a few different ways so he wouldn’t think it was patronizing and it would click in his head. Then again if by the age of 9 you don’t understand enough about others that you don’t hurt them at least purely for the fact that you know it’s not nice to hurt….

I should have said something.

About Gabi

I do person things.
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