I’m assuming that most of you have heard of the term ‘do over’ in reference to therapeutic parenting. My understanding of the basic premise is that you call your child on some behavior that’s not appropriate and you invite them to do it over, in order to fix it. This being a reasonable first response instead of diving into consequence mode, and actually more effective in our children learning. Getting a child to change their behavior right away, goes a long way to creating those defaults in the brain that we want.
Now in reality, a little harder than it sounds. And certainly not soft or wussy.
I get it all in theory, and I can say that I am getting better at using this as my first response. It takes loads of practice for me. What I wasn’t expecting was that I would need ‘do over’s’ extended to me.
Lately it feels daily that I need to look at a child and say ‘I’m sorry that’s how I responded to you. Here is what I wish I had said and done.’ and then I re do it. My kids are thankfully very gracious and forgiving. It’s hard! Hard work! Which gives me insight into how great every successful do over is for our kids.
Now in our house, do over’s are supposed to be that. Do over’s. Meaning that it’s done. If you’ve fixed it, you’ve fixed it. We might have a discussion as to the what the behavior was, and why, and if there is any further work that needs to be done. But it’s supposed to be an opportunity of grace that allows us put in the hard work to fixing our mistakes. That’s our goal.
We’ve been dealing with a person again who has been dead set against Miss Joy, or rather HIV. We were hoping that time, education, and meeting her would alleviate the fear and anger.
It hasn’t. And before you ask, yes, we’ve kept our kids safe.
I explained the whole situation to a lawyer to works in HIV advocacy and law. She told me about a legal process that is an option to us. I will spare you the details. I have to say it’s tempting. And I won’t say no to that option if it’s needed. At this time, it would be proving a point, and I’m guessing nothing more.
I have a theory that this person started out with their aggressive stance of anger and exclusion, and now might be doubting their position, but doesn’t know how to get out of it.
Maybe it’s time to offer a do over.