This week we worked with The Three R's of Recovery. The R's are: Recognize your mistake, Reconcile by apologizing, and Resolve the problem, and they are explained perfectly on Jane Nelson's blog.
These three little steps teach enormous lessons. When you recognize your mistakes you teach humility and self acceptance. When you reconcile by apologizing you teach genuine remorse. When we work with our children to resolve the problem we show them respect and teach them problem solving skills. It is not just the adult who can go through these steps. Anyone who makes a mistake can recover from it using this plan. Both parties benefit from the Three R's!
The first step is the hardest for me. You have to just face up to the mistake that you made; look it straight in the eye and admit that you did it. Not only do you have to recognize the mistake, but you have to deal with it AND forgive yourself. Once you have modeled this self acceptance and you acknowledge your mistake, you have the opportunity to learn from it.
The second step, Reconcile, is so good! If you have never tried genuinely apologizing to your child, you should. You will be amazed at how forgiving they and at how much they appreciate your apology. This is one of the easiest ways to show respect to your child. By reconciling your mistake you give your child the gift of respect, honor and empathy.
Then, once everyone has had a chance to calm and connect by completing the first two steps, you are ready to Resolve the problem. Children are great at brainstorming solutions, even to problems that don't directly involve them. The other day I forgot my shopping list in the car, so we all had to go back out to the car in the rain to get it. As we were walking back into the store my daughter says, "maybe if you put your list in your purse at home then you won't forget it in the car". HA! She was right. Children are always thinking and coming up with solutions to problems comes natural to them. When the problem directly affects them, then they will really appreciate being a part of the brainstorming for solutions process. Children are also more likely to follow through with a solution when they helped come up with it and have agreed to it.
It is clear to see how Recovery is the the result of these three steps. Mistakes are learning opportunities in so many ways, and when children learn to recover in this way they will be all the better for it!
Next week we will continue on this theme with: Problem Solving.