Recovering From a Broken Promise

What do you when you’ve broken a promise to your child and now your child is upset? One mom explained that she had promised her 12-year-old son that she would play a game of cribbage with him that night. However, time slipped by and it was time for bed before they got to play the game.

When her son realized they weren’t going to be able to play the game that night, he was angry. She acknowledged his feelings and apologized, “I can see you are angry that we don’t have time to play cribbage tonight. I’m sorry I didn’t realize how late it was. Let’s set an alarm to go off tomorrow night at 7:00 so that we remember to play the game then.”

Acknowledging his feelings and apologizing calmed her son down. What would have happened had she said “You’re getting upset for nothing! I’ll play cribbage with you tomorrow night.”? He probably would have gotten even more upset because she not only broke her promise but also dismissed his feelings.

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