I got kicked last week. (Oweeee!) A three-year-old kicked me in the eye at full speed with his heavy snow boots. He didn't seem sorry about it either. In fact, he told his mom the reason he had kicked me was that I had been in his way.
And you know what? I am completely fine with that.
See, my little friend had a really rough six weeks at school and desperately needed some mommy time. He used all of his little-boy-superpowers to keep it together for the past few weeks, both at home and at school. I just happened to be there when he was handed the last straw.
That’s all it was. A frustrated child was trying to communicate his needs. And I was in the line of fire.
With a different perspective, I might have complained that he “hit me for no reason” or was “just so mean.” I might have put him in time-out or raised my voice, telling him to change his behavior. But really, would any of that help him? As I was praying for my eye to feel better I wondered, “Do we only take care of the victim, forgetting that the culprit was probably ‘hurt’ too? How do we find what caused those behaviors in the first place?"
Absolute Intentional Regard means we view the child as capable, and seek to help him rather than to punish him. We already have coping skills. He’s learning them. It’s up to us to teach him what we know and to set a good example.
What about you? Have you had a similar experience and how did you handle it? I’d love to hear your comments, suggestions or feedback.