I witnessed some pretty harsh child-on-child violence the other day. Even more surprising was the setting: Church.
The brother and sister – each about eight or nine years old – were fighting over who knows what. That’s not really important. If you have kids, you know kids will fight over just about anything. If you don’t have kids – geez, thanks for reading my blog anyway. (Sorry about all the poop stories.)
So, here they were, in the heat of it. He’s saying something she doesn’t like. She’s saying something he doesn’t like. He says something she really doesn’t like and she winds up – cranking her arm – fully stretched – as far as it will go backward – and slaps him. HARD. In the face. God love that boy, while he didn’t quite turn the other cheek, he didn’t hit her back. In fact, he didn’t do much of anything. He stood there, clutching his now very red cheek and stared back at her in disbelief. That’s when reality struck her.
“OH! I didn’t mean to do that!” She blurted out at him.
I stood there – watching. Waiting. When no one came swooping in to act – I chose to be: THAT MOM.
My own mother is pretty notorious for scooping up and reprimanding small children in the church I grew up in. But, since I’m pretty new to the church I now attend, I decided not to go all out on this kid. I walked over to her and she gazed up in me in panic mode.
“Lets go find your mother,” I said calmly to her.
“NO! It was an accident!” she pleaded with me.
I wasn’t about to call some kid I don’t know a liar, so I replied, “I’m not sure that’s accurate.” Then, we went to find her mom. The girl took off running toward her mom – anxious to have the first word. I saw her mom’s face take the shock. I walked up and said, “I just wanted to make sure you knew what happened,” and walked away.
Tell me – what would you have done? Do you become THAT MOM and go narc a kid out? Do you yell at the kid yourself? Do you ignore it completely? How do you handle these scenarios?