The children never stop amazing us everyday!
Sometimes, I think our issue as adults can be that our expectations for what our kids can really do isn't high enough. We allow fear, worry and comparison to others to get in the way of believing the beauty and capabilities of children. I know it's true for me.
This week we had an incident on the playground with 3 Lower Elementary (1st-3rd) students. It happened as we were dismissing and as I was talking with the children, I realized emotions were very high and there were questions that didn't have answers at the moment. I asked the children if they would be ok if we re-visited what happened in the morning-there simply wasn't enough time for me to give it the attention and energy it needed. I asked them to go home, think about what happened and then we'll chat in the morning. I honestly wasn't sure what would happen-this isn't something I have done before (wait until the next day), but the circumstances just presented in a way that this seemed most appropriate.
I then emailed all 3 families letting them know we were aware of what happened (I knew for certain the kids would report this to their parents and I also knew my wonderful families would speak into the situation in a very healthy way). I told them we would all be talking in the morning.
Without going into the nitty, gritty details I'll tell you that there was some physical lashing out that happened along with hurt feelings and misinterpretation of the situation. We had 1 1st grader, 1 2nd grader and 1 3rd grader who were involved.
I can't necessarily prepare myself for these types of conflict resolution opportunities-what is brought to the conflict varies depending on many things, so I simply prayed and welcomed all that could be resolved and more importantly, what could help support their friendships moving forward. What I don't think adults/the world understands or appreciates is that children are working through hard things each day just as adults. Their emotions are no different b/c they are younger. So, what they encounter on a daily basis with their friends or problems is a big deal. At CMS, we pay attention and as much as we can, allow for time and space needed for processing.
We sat together for about 10 minutes and honestly, I mostly listened. It was beautiful. The grace they showed one another was something to marvel at-their ability to forgive and go right back to loving was amazing. They all 3 shared their emotions in the midst of things and were able to explain what they thought and why they did what they did. I was humbled to be part of such a wonderful exchange among friends. They held each other accountable, addressed what needed to be addressed and wiped the slate clean. We adults have so much to learn from kids. Challenge yourself to step back, listen, observe and take in the greatness of your child today. Allow yourself to be uncomfortable in something you may typically take control of or have a judgment about. Don't be afraid of what your child may do or say-it's likely to soften our heart.