Saturday, December 27, 2008

the apology game

So, I have one kid that apologizes all the time for every little thing and one kid that never apologizes for anything. The last kid is in the middle somewhere - only apologizes if it's big and it could mean trouble. I could play a little game and let you guess...but I'll break the suspense and spill it.
DD - the always apologizer. If I say "your shoes look tight" - she says "sorry". If I say "you didn't seem very hungry today" - "sorry"..."bummer, you stole something at school today" - "sorry". You can see where I begin to believe that there really isn't much sorrow. It's just her gut reaction and she doesn't even understand when to be sorry and what that means.
DS2 is the never sorry guy. Never. Spill paint all over the basement and clean it with my brand new (spent more than I wanted to) hand sorry. Sell me down the river by saying that I'm evil and mean to sorry. I wonder if I should appreciate the honesty in that...he doesn't even play the game, you know? He's simply not sorry and won't pretend to be.
DS1 - the sorry when he thinks he should be guy. Is he really? Heck, I don't know...but he does apologize at the right moments - sometimes only after he gets in trouble...but it seems sincere and I do see an effort (ever so slight sometimes) to adjust his behavior.
Therapy today was an interesting endevour. DD would NOT agree to any of the trust exercises that XXX wanted her to try with me. He was explaining how it could help her - having real conversation about the fact that she still can't let go of control and how a little "game" could make her feel a little safer - but, no go. She flat out denied any and all of his requests. It made me sad to know that she can't even trust me enough to play a blindfold simon-says type game with me. He says not to push it - if she isn't bought into it, it won't work...
DS2 tried to lie his way out of everything. I'm fine, he's fine the world's fine. Bull...he and I have been in a real low (all except that special day of Christmas). This morning I offered him advice (that he said he wanted) - it was simple "if you continue the same actions, you get the same consequences". He was mad...he hates when it makes sense. He will try the same stuff over and over and seem shocked when the same consequence happens.
XXX also spoke with me about letting go of anger. This will sound hard to understand, yet again, to those who don't deal with this - but, I'm often mad at my kids. Yes, honestly mad. My life is not what I wanted or expected...being a mother is a hard, gut-wrenching, not always full-of-laughter proposition for me. That makes me mad and who is there to blame - my kids. Is that fair? Probably not...but it does feel incredibly personal most of the time!!! So, I will try to work on that.
Strangely, we ran some errands, had some lunch and came home. We played games (the kids and I) and I had a really lovely time. No melt-downs, no anger over losing stupid games...actual laughter and joy. It was nice. Even nicer - DH and I have a date tonight. A very nice meal alone for my birthday. When DS2 found out the kids weren't going to my birthday meal, he looked hurt. I said "yeah, I want to have fun while I'm there eating"...
Do I think it will get through?

1 comment:

  1. if it makes you feel any better, i have one bio kid who has MAYBE apologized five times in her life, and she's 22. and then i have another bio kid who can't stand not apologizing if he was a jerk or lost his temper - can't stand it and HAS to hear he's forgiven from the person he was rude to. then my middle child is somewhere in the middle - definitely should apologize more than he does. but, that goes for me too if i'm being honest. i have a feeling i'm going to have two extremes in my newest daughters. at least that's what it looks like at this point. one is very honest and always remorseful, the other one frequently lies and would rather sit in time-out than apologize.