At staff meeting this week we were discussing the ways in which to help a child understand the consequences of their actions. So many times, as adults, we want to have our child say “I’m sorry” when they have done something that hurt another person, whether it was a big hurt or a small hurt. At the meeting we were discussing how children don’t really understand the concept of being “sorry”. Oh, yes, they’ll say the words but many times they are right back at it again, doing the same thing as before and saying the same words, “I’m sorry” again. All the while, they haven’t learned very much about the encounter.
It was suggested to me at a training that instead of having the children who have wronged someone say “I’m sorry”, we must have them make amends. I’ve pondered on that for a while now and have decided that this is EXACTLY what needs to happen. Think about it, what if any human being, whether big or small had to make amends for every wrong deed they did. What would the world be like? I think in the Bible it’s called an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Now, I’m not suggesting this is a good idea at all because since Jesus came into the world He asked us to forgive and forgive again and again when someone has wronged you. And I totally agree, although it is hard to do.
But what if, at a very young age, we teach our children to make amends for the wrongs they committ, not just to say “I’m sorry”. So when a child hits another child, they have to get them something to soothe the hurt, they have to be a part of the process as you help the hurt child. And what if we had each child that takes a toy from another child, not only give that toy back but verbally acknowledge…”I shouldn’t have taken that toy. It was wrong of me and I won’t do it again.” What if at a young age we taught this to our children and as they grew we continued to teach them to make amends when they have wronged someone. Would our world look different?
I really hope our world would be different. I pray it would make an impact on our world. So, in our school here at Aloma Methodist Early Childhood Learning Center we’re going to be putting that belief into practice. My prayer is that the children of this school would make a difference in the world as they grow. If we all teach our children this maybe we wouldn’t have the bombers and the shooters and people who create havoc in the world. I don’t know but it can only help.