Our time-out routine ends like this ...
- The parent who put him in time-out walks over to him
- We sit down next to him
- We remind him why he was in time-out
- We ask him to say "I'm sorry"
- He says "I'm sorry"
- We say "I forgive you"
- Hugs and kisses
- Time-out is over
Now, I'm not sure we're doing time-out perfectly. Some more-perfect parent can chime in and give us advice.
But I've noticed something recently ...
When the time comes and Will says "I'm sorry," I struggle to say "I forgive you." Now, this isn't because I'm angry or harboring unforgiveness in my heart toward my son. No, it's something else.
I want to say "It's no big deal."
This is my default response to tense, awkward or painful situations. If someone hurts me and then apologizes, I say "It's no big deal." If someone says something that dings my pride, I say "It's no big deal." If someone says I'm sorry (whether they mean it or not), I move quickly to downgrading the situation. No. Big. Deal.
But this isn't a helpful practice.
If it's no big deal, then why shouldn't I do it again?
If it's no big deal, then why am I apologizing?
If it's no big deal, then why am I in time-out?
So, I'm left with a conundrum. I know that "I forgive you" is a better response. Why is it so hard for me to say?
Has anyone else given this some thought?