Friday, January 1, 2010

fwiw: reconciliation

here's a little follow up to the mean girl post:

time has healed some wounds. suzie did apologize--more than once--and then she waited. it was kind of sweet, really. i could tell when we talked about it that her regret and her desire to make things right was sincere. there were numerous times she would ask us or another friend if she should call katy or try to chat with her when she was on facebook, but it never seemed to be the right time. at school, katy wouldn't even look at her.

then a couple of days ago she must have called katy or something, because suze came jumping into the living room all excited (and a little too proud of herself) that she was going to go over to katy's (she lives just around the corner). they reconciled and katy even came over to our house. i know things may still be a bit awkward--they can both get on each other's nerves--but they're both trying.

the reason i wanted to bring this up again (in addition to the fact that i like resolution) is that i learned a valuable lesson from katy's mom. she works with my husband and i was afraid that would be a little awkward (because we all know how easy it is to get all mother bear when it comes to our kids). i had an opportunity to speak with her at the school's christmas party and i was so grateful and impressed.

katy's mother was great. i apologized to her and told her how badly we felt and how much we loved and missed katy. she had the right to be very angry, but instead she was awesome. she took the "girls will be girls" approach, telling me that katy has been guilty of doing the very same thing. while she was obviously sad that her daughter's feelings had been hurt, she also made it clear she wanted the two to reconcile. she expressed her hopes that suzie would be patient while katy worked through it and that they would be friends again. she also told me how much they loved and missed suze and was so very understanding. that was super generous of her, especially as, in this case, it was completely my child's fault.

what i have observed as a mother with older kids--particularly as a mother of a daughter--is that we have two options when our girls mix it up with or are hurt by other girls. we can go all mother bear and want to hurt somebody (this is my instinctual response) and try to fix it. or we can love and support our own child, while remaining open to the possibility that there are two sides to every story; get the facts and look at them with some degree of perspective; and give our kids the space to work things out and learn what they can and need to from the experience.

with the girls in my hood, i have seen the effects of both types of parental responses. my observation is that the results are generally better--resolution is more likely and my child learns so much more--when i take the high road.

i guess what i am saying is, when i grow up i want to be like katy's mom.

that's all.

3 comments:

Queen Scarlett said...

I need to do better with the high road... I need to be able to find it. I always get too mother bearish. ;-)

Thanks for sharing. And... what a great lesson for both girls to learn so early in their lives.

Geo said...

That's a good opener post for what we all seem to want to be a healing year. Yay!

Kalli Ko said...

Bingo.

And when I grow up I want to be like you.