Many parents have been here before: you're about to settle into your own world of peace and calm when you hear the fighting in the next room. You've got your book, a favorite cup of coffee/tea, and are finally able to settle in. Then the parenting-reality comes down like an asteroid hurtling out of orbit and crashing to earth. All you hear is screaming, yelling, and arguing.
You're up and rushing to the other room to get them to be quiet - get them to behave as good children should. You burst into the room as a judge coming into the courtroom, ready to enact swift judgment on the case. The kids point fingers saying this one did that, they hit me for no reason, they said I can't come to their birthday party. You hear excruciating details about how their whole world is destroyed by what the other one did.
As the judge, you play your role well. You ask questions, trying to find evidence of who is in the wrong. You talk out all the details and then get to the point where you force them to apologize to each other. You make them say they're sorry when they have no atom in their being that wants to. They grumble and mutter something barely intelligible, but its good enough. As the judge, you've done your part. You've delivered the verdict. They can go back to their own worlds to play and can hopefully go back to your world of peace.
This exact scenario happens regularly at our house. Our kids are fighting with each other, getting under each other's skin and we have to hold court to enact the verdict. Recently though, I have noticed my kids are learning to change. Learning to say they are sorry and to work through their differences outside of our Parent Courtroom. They are learning to own their actions and words. They are learning to grow.
This has caused me to wonder: am I learning to say sorry like they are? Am I letting the people in my life (including my kids) know I am sorry when I screw up? When I am not my best self? When I don't act the way I want to?
I've realized I could take some lessons from them. When the asteroid of reality crashes into my world of peace and I want to blame someone. When I want to create my own courtroom to prove someone else has wronged me. I can learn to say I am sorry and work things out. Learn to own my own actions and words.
I can learn how to be a good adult from my kids.