June 28 — the art of sincere apology

The older Peanut gets, the more physical play is involved between my boys. Hence, physical fights are inevitable. They basically bicker and fight, sometimes they get violent with each other every ten minutes, more or less. One likes to tattle tale, one likes to instigate, and vice versa…both drive me crazy beyond bonkers.

I sometimes have to let them figure out the solution and settle the fight themselves. Other times I have to intervene if the fight escalates quickly to a duel boxing match.

Today Peanut kicked PP on the chin really hard while both were on the couch watching TV. I was cleaning the bedroom so I didn’t see exactly what transpired the whole situation. Anyway, PP came in crying and telling on Peanut.

I disciplined Peanut, and asked him to apologize to his brother, but he refused. I sometimes don’t know what to do at post-fight mediation like this because I cannot force one to offer a begrudged apology. But if I don’t then they might fall into a pattern of not doing anything when they are at fault.

Today I tried a new strategy. I let Peanut stay in his time-out spot and told him that if whenever he is ready to give an apology, he can go to PP and say so. In the mean time, he can stay at the spot and cool down from the hot temperature.

Five minutes later, he went to PP and checked on his brother. He did not say “I am sorry” but slowly approached the other guy, and then looked at his brother’s chin, then put his hand on it to check. I stood in a corner and observed him, and their interaction. They finally hugged. PP took the initiative to do so, which was nice of him, too.

That was just one battle down, and many subsequent ones that came and went. I sometimes succeeded at mediation, other times I could not get them to compromise so I asked each go to their room to cool down.

Today is another hot day, close to 100F.

The Weather-god is really playing games with me. A few months ago I asked her to take me away from the bitter and brutal Midwestern winter, and she delivered me right into a furnace! The irony is, it’s in the low 60s in San Francisco, and I am about 30 miles north of the city, with about 30 degrees hotter.

Should have taken the kids into town for “Fall” weather. 😀