Apologizing

One of Luke’s latest quirks is that whenever he hurts someone (usually a brother!), and I want him to make said brother feel better, he covers his eyes up with his hands, and runs away. I’m not too big on the “Say you’re sorry” because I feel that kids learn/think that just saying the words is a Get Out of Jail Free card, without actually feeling sorry. I’ve always told the boys “You need to go and make sure so-and-so is okay and try and make them feel better”. Luke threw a Lego piece at Daddy this afternoon, and when John complained to him that he was hurt, Luke just ran away and covered his eyes while sitting on the couch. When I told him that he needed to go and give Daddy a hug to make him feel better, he said “You go and hug Daddy” “I’m not the one who hurt him, you are”. “No, you hurt him, Mama” . “Luke, you need to go and make Daddy feel better”. “No, I don’t, I’m lying here on the couch”. “Luke, you’ve been running around the house for almost an hour like a maniac, I think you can walk over to Daddy”. “No, I can’t, I’m lying here bored”. Urgh!

He is a bit of a Drama King right now, and sometimes when he hurts someone and I tell him that his behavior is unacceptable, he’ll start crying and wanting a hug from me, when the brother (usually) is standing there crying because Luke pinched or punched him in a sensitive spot. When Luke sees me comforting the hurt party, he just gets more upset and mad! I think this is all exacerbated by the fact that he is going through a severe separation anxiety stage with me, which means he wants Mama to do everything for and with him, and he doesn’t understand that Chance and Jack (and Daddy too) are my babies also and need love and comfort *before* Luke occasionally. Or maybe he does know all this, and just wants it to stop!

I remember going through a period when Jack was a terrible biter and nailed Chance on more than one occasion, drawing blood and infuriating Chance. What finally worked in changing the behavior was for me and Chance to leave Jack in the living room and go into the bathroom by ourselves, telling Jack that we didn’t want to be with someone who hurts us. We’d only leave him for a few minutes (Jack was about 2-3 years old), but it was long enough to get Jack upset. We didn’t have to do it very many time for him to stop biting, but Luke is proving to be quite stubborn in changing his behavior, even with the same treatment. Part of it is that all three boys love wrestling and rough housing, and Luke just gets so excited, he overdoes the “fighting”. Still, seeing him burst into tears after being scolded for hurting Jack is just too much for words sometimes!

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