This weekend Monkey was a part of something that made me very disappointed in her. She and a friend wrote a snarky little note and gave it to a girl much younger than they at a birthday party.
When I found out about the note I came to Monkey and asked her if she and her friend had written it. She took responsibility for her share in the smallness and said yes.
Then I asked her to imagine being a little girl at a party. I asked her to imagine trying so hard to play with the bigger kids and being so excited when they gave you a note. Imagine clutching the note in your hands the whole way home, proud of it, excited to hear what it says. Maybe it’s your first note ever. Imagine handing it to your Daddy to finally learn what it says only to see his face fall as he reads it. Imagine learning it’s not nice.
Then Monkey did something that made me so proud of her. She teared up, jumped out of her seat, and said “I need to write her an apology right now.”
Monkey was very upset that she and her friend had hurt this little girl’s feelings and cried when she thought about how disappointed and upset she must have been to learn the cherished note had been a mean trick instead of a welcome.
We designed a nice homemade card, picked out some stickers to give the little girl, and Monkey wrote out a lovely apology in her own words, ending with “I hope you can forgive me because I would like to be your friend.” Then she and I had a good long talk about how everything we do has an affect on someone else. I told her that each decision we make can make someone else’s day better or worse and that the best thing you can do is just be kind to people.
I am so proud that my kiddo was able to put herself in this little girl’s shoes and genuinely feel for her. I am still upset that she chose to behave in such an ungenerous way but I am pleased she was so ready to do her best to fix it. It makes me feel as though we are on the right path.