‘You shouldn’t have been drinking chocolate milk while doing homework!’ she said in a really harsh tone. I couldn’t bring myself to tell the truth.’: Mom urges ‘give kids a chance to explain’

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“We all have weird memories that stick with us from when we were kids.

For me, I remember being 7 and telling a teacher I needed a new homework sheet because some chocolate milk had ruined mine.

‘You shouldn’t have been drinking chocolate milk while doing your homework!’

She said this to me in a really harsh tone.

I felt so anxious I couldn’t bring myself to speak up and say it actually got ruined because an empty popper in my backpack had leaked over it on the way home. (Those damn things always have a few drops left in them no matter how hard you try!) It was an honest accident, and a 7-year-old couldn’t have predicted it.

I still get frustrated when I think about it because it’s so common. A lot of the time we don’t give kids a chance to explain themselves, and we immediately assume the worst of them.

Sure, sometimes not even an explanation will do them justice, but other times they could really do with being shown some grace.

A chance to explain what went wrong.

A chance to learn from their mistakes.

A chance for us to see it was an accident.

Instead, they’re thrown right into a pool of frustration and anger, and we take away their exit stairs.

I try really hard to stop myself from immediately yelling (I’m not always successful, especially during a tough day) and remember how it felt when I wasn’t given a chance to explain myself.

Sometimes that’s all they need to feel seen, heard, and safe. Without it, they’re probably going to hold themselves back from owning up in the future because they already know what’s coming.”

Courtesy of Katie Bowman

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Katie Bowman of Living My Family Life, and originally appeared here. Purchase Katie’s book here. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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