This parenting thing is hard. You do your best every day to teach them and guide them. They are children. They will make mistakes as they figure out this world. That is the inevitable.
Nathan had a rough patch yesterday at school. He has done so well there and really loves and respects his teacher and class. But he wasn't in control of his body. I think it is the meds he is on since his fever condition returned. But there are no excuses.
When you get the call about a misbehavior, you need to figure out how to proceed. My first thought was to take away his whole world and make him feel miserable. Then I calmed down. Instead, I left a front note on our door so when he got home he would see it right away. My MIL was getting him off the bus. The note expressed our disappointment and directed him to go to his room. No wii. No toys. Books and coloring only. When I got home, he was hysterically crying. So I went to talk to him only to find out that he was crying for the wrong reasons. Crying about the wii and no toys. I felt like it was my responsibility to explain to him what he should be crying about...disappointing his teacher, disappointing us, hurting a friend, breaking the rules. He started to apologize for those things, but it was still more about his losses. How hard it was to stay calm and firm when I wanted to scream, "No way will you do that!"
So we continued the punishment. And waited. And a little bit after dinner he reached out to put his hands on his sister. Did he not hear my words earlier, feel the punishment enough, learn the lesson? So he went back into his room. No show, no nightly family time. When I went in to tuck him in, he said, "Mommy, I won't do that again. I was a good listener in here tonight, right? I missed my family." And I knew then that he got it, heard my words, felt the punishment and learned the lesson.
I wanted him to feel guilty and sorry for most of the afternoon. But then, when it was time for bed, I started to talk to him about forgiveness. Sometimes we make mistakes and we have to be sorry. But then we have to make a plan for next time and forgive ourselves. We had a discussion about what forgiveness is and how to do it.
And so, this parenting thing is hard. But it is also worth every second.