My sweet seven year old came home from school yesterday a little more solemn than usual. His sober demeanor eventually turned into a seemingly sour attitude. By this point, I was pretty much over his crabbiness that was even evident in his silence. I addressed his current position and told him, “There is no reason for your sour attitude.” After all, we leave for the beach in a few short days. Life is good for him. What gives?
As I watched him attempt to compose himself, the thought of asking him what he may be feeling occurred to me. There ya go, Mom.
“John Henry, is there something bothering you?” I finally engaged him.
His response flowed so effortlessly. A friend had “told a lie about (him).”
“He said I told him to write on the smart board, and I didn’t.” He went on to explain. “He tried to make something he did all my fault.”
I loved on my son and sympathized with him. I told him how I know that hurts.
After bedtime readings, we prayed. I told John Henry we needed to forgive his friend.
“How do I forgive him? What do I do?” He asked.
“You choose to still love him and be his friend.” This was the best way I knew how to explain such a powerful act to a seven year old.
I reinforced with him that it was okay to still feel hurt. But, he couldn’t let that hurt affect his friendship.
What if I had never asked John Henry, “Is there something bothering you?” Perhaps, it was the Spirit’s prompting. No matter what, I’m glad I didn’t just let it go. I’m thankful I engaged my son.
Otherwise, I would have failed to acknowledge that he was hurting.
And, I would have missed a teachable moment on forgiveness.