Its been years, but ever so often I am reminded of a lesson I learned, when my rug rats were still small, and I was only just beginning to navigate the pit falls of parenting...
For almost an entire school year we had a young boy spend many mornings and afternoons in our home, so his mother could support their family. He was rambunctious and smart, but struggled at times to control his behaviour especially with his peers at school. He had been through much in his young life and those circumstances were not something he could change.
He often came home with notices informing his mother of his misdeeds during the day...
I was horrified when one of those notices was for bullying a sweet, kind special needs boy in his class, completely unprovoked...
Severe consequences were needed and most definitely deserved.
For a few days I wondered how, the situation would ultimately be handled....
When I saw my young charge again I quickly asked "What happened?"
"I had to apologize but we're are friends now." he said as if that was the expected answer
A little surprised at the drastic change...I eventually asked his mother, further
Instead of wanting restitution, our sweet boy and his mother decided, my charge, needed a friend more than a punishment and this sweet boy thought that a recess where he could share his prized, recently acquired Halloween candy, with my charge, would be an awesome way to make a friend.
Candy was shared.
And from that moment on, they were indeed friends.
I am still humbled by the lessons I learned from that very wise Mother, who saw a hurting boy, disguised as a nasty bully and then reacted in love.
Not all consequences need to be punishment.