About a year back my Macbook stopped working. Even though it was quite old, I didn’t expect it to go kaput just like that. I asked my son, who uses the laptop sometimes to watch Minecraft (ugh!), if anything went wrong. He simply said “no”. I believed him. On further probing I got to know from my house help a day later that he had dropped a glass of water on it. It was too late to save the laptop. Apart from losing my son’s precious baby pictures, I was worried about the fact that my son was scared of admitting his mistake. All this while, I was under the impression that I have managed to keep the gates of communication open. That he would tell me everything without any fear of consequences. He had lied to me, acting out of fear rather than love. It made me very sad. Reality can hit you in so many ways.
Punishing my son for breaking expensive things or even stuff that I cherish is something I have never done. Then why would he lie to me? Probably because of his fear of disappointing me and not meeting my expectations.
I don’t remember where I had read “connect before you correct” but it worked beautifully. I sat down and had a calm conversation with him, where I expressed my concern. When he felt understood and accepted, and knew I was on his side, he owned up. Despite the protective environment we try to provide, a child goes through a lot every day. A lot of humiliation too where he ends up feeling small or incapable. The pent up anger or frustration (though not very apparent) comes out in some shape, manner or form. I have come to a realisation that it’s the connection which works over everything else. At least, till the next reality check 🙂