Children and forgiveness - your views
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  1. #1
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    Default Children and forgiveness - your views

    Yesterday at school I overheard one girl - child A (reception age) telling the TA about something that had gone on at playtime. Child A had, by her own admission, done something to 'annoy' another girl (child B) and then said sorry. Child B then still wouldn't play with her and so Child A told the TA. The TA then said to child B - "If somebody says sorry then you must forgive them". The TA left it at that but it just didn't sit right with me. Then I saw child B's face and she looked a bit crestfallen at that reaction, and I don't blame her. I intervened quickly and said that the other person had to 'show' that they were sorry, not just say the word, and we talked about how in that particular context Child A could make an effort to not do the thing which made the other girl cross. Both are sweet children and it was just an everyday type of disagreement within their play. The TA was on her way out of the classroom though and I'm not sure she would have been aware of what I had said.

    The TA's comment really annoyed me though and I feel I need to follow up on it. I like the TA (known her for years) and would feel comfortable doing so, so that's good. I'm sure if she really thought about it she would agree that it's not the best thing to say in that situation. I know if my DD had been told that she had to forgive someone who had just annoyed her (just because they 'said' sorry) then I would feel a bit disappointed in the adult. Not that I encourage people to bear a grudge either of course, but I do think children deserve to have their feelings acknowledged.

    What are your views on forgiveness? How do you deal with it in your home/setting? I would like to read more about it if anyone has any good literature that they can recommend.

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    This is just one of a number of areas in which we'll-meaning parents and 'professionals' impose an idealised and much misplaced morality on children which they wouldn't dream of following themselves.

    My bugbear is constantly hearing "you've got to share." It's hardly an adult life skill. I can imagine the reaction I'd get if I insisted a parent had to share their house, holiday, car, wife, etc. with me.

    Schools and childcare settings are infected with this Mr Tumble-seque notion that "we're all friends" and don't seem to have worked out life's not like that.

    Just because A says sorry doesn't mean B has to forgive or play with them. That has to be a free choice. If A had broken a window then said sorry, school would not just carry on as if nothing had ever happened.

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    I absolutley agree Maza. And the other thing that i dont understand is when an adult insists a child say sorry , then everything is fine. Children then quickly realise its just a word , they can continue their behaviour and just say sorry. They have no understanding of what sorry means , or often what they are saying sorry for!
    And to be honest quite often they arent sorry. They have reacted in a a particular way to a particular set of events and are most certainly not sorry. Sorry has to be understood , meant and demonstrated.

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    Oh this doesn't sit well with me. I also would be upset at her comment. Here the child would apologise but the other child would not be forced to play. I would have told the child B (am confused now but the 'annoying' child) that child A can 'choose' to play with her now and she has to accept her 'choice'. We talk about choices a lot here especially as every choice has a consequence.

    Plus, dare I mention it and go down a dark road, but what if a child's abuser keeps saying 'sorry' and continues?!

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    Oh I'm so glad you all agree so far. Sometimes I wonder if I analyse things too much.

    Yes Bunyip, children being told to share is my bugbear too (in certain contexts obviously). Usually the child telling the tales in this context doesn't actually want to share either, they want the other child to just hand everything over.

    BallyH, yes, the dark side does have to be thought about too. I was thinking about when the children are older and their spouse might punch them in the face and then say sorry, so they have to forgive them.

    Thanks guys, I will definitely bring it up in a constructive way sooner rather than later.

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    A few years ago, when my son was at junior school, I was called in after school as my son had refused to shake hands with someone and had been kept in at break.
    It turned out that another boy had hit my son and it had been seen by a teacher. The school's way of dealing with it had been to get the boys together, get them both to say sorry to each other and to shake hands. My son had refused to apologise and shake hands as he'd done nothing wrong. The other boy then didn't have to apologise as my son had refused to. He was let back out to play and my son was kept in doors.

    I asked what my son was supposed to be apologising for and they said it was so the other child didn't feel they were being singled out! I also asked why he had to shake hands with someone who had hit him and they said it was to show there were no hard feelings. It was bizarre!! I stood shaking my head and wondering if I'd slipped into some sort of parallel universe where common sense had been replaced by stupidity!

    I did put in a complaint to the headteacher but I don't think they could really understand why I had a problem with their policy.

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    As I constantly remind my schoolies, school will teach you many important lessons.

    These include:
    1. Don't expect rules to be fair.
    2. Don't expect rules to make sense.
    3. Adults can be idiots; never assume they are as bright as a child.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    As I constantly remind my schoolies, school will teach you many important lessons.

    These include:
    1. Don't expect rules to be fair.
    2. Don't expect rules to make sense.
    3. Adults can be idiots; never assume they are as bright as a child.




    And that's why I also hate it when people tell children that they should be more grown up, or say things like "well that wasn't very grown up of you was it?"

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