Sometimes children make big mistakes that cause problems for them with their peers or family. When they do, some reinvention of their character is in order to recover from the fallout.
They may have upset someone by saying something stupid or being thoughtless towards others. They can tell a lie that affects their peers and their lives. These actions will affect how others feel about them. Children don’t always think before acting and consider the possible consequences of their actions.
When they do or say something that has repercussions it can affect their friendships, causing them to fall apart. They then regret what they’ve done and want to take it back. They want those children to forget it happened and go back to how life was. But it’s too late.
When this happens, there are two main ways that children can redeem themselves.
- They can apologise and the other children may see that a mistake was made. They might say they forgive and forget, but the trust isn’t as it was before. The other child may be cautious of what they say and how they interact with the child. So, whilst the drama is over, the friendship doesn’t fully recover.
- The child can choose to completely reinvent themselves. By that I mean they really start to make amends by changing their attitude, choosing their words more carefully, and being kinder in their interactions with friends. They show that they can be a good friend, that they are sorry, and are no longer the same person. As part of their reinvention, their friends get to see a different side to them. A softer, more caring side. The authentic person they are.
I have seen several children in my coaching practice where this has been needed. The child who made that mistake was able to keep with that friendship group due to the changes they made – that commitment to their reinvention.
If they value their friends and can admit to making a mistake, reinvention is highly recommended and does work.