My grandad was here for a week. Every other day, our relatives would drop by to spend some time with him. When cousins around her age are around, Asna would often become more of a drama queen than she already is.
This one time, she was being annoying and I said something to her, while I was seated at the table, having dinner. Since she’s on diva mode, she came to me and punched my shoulder, hard. I didn’t think anything I said warranted a punch, so I got angry, got up and punched her back on the shoulder.
When this happens, she would often stick her tongue out. But this time she had an audience, so her face immediately turned red, her eyes accumulated tears which later fell down her cheeks. She ran and hid in the kitchen, sobbing.
I didn’t think I was in the wrong, found no need to console her and went up to my room after having my meal.
Half an hour later, I went into a guest room to get something, then found Asna sitting on the bed, sobbing even harder. Her face was wet. Figured I should talk to her.
“Why are you crying?”
“Act like an adult and I’ll talk to you like an adult.”
I’m not sure what that meant, but it made her wipe her tears and sit straight.
“Now tell me. What’s the problem?”
“I’m sad because you were angry at me.”
“Then Sarah sat at my seat and she drank the sirap I prepared for myself!”
Since she left the scene earlier, my Bibik instructed my younger cousin, Sarah, to take Asna’s seat on the dining table, who later drank Asna’s drink. Among my siblings, we’re very strict about who this, like you shall not eat nor drink anything that’s mine unless you’ve asked for permission.
Time to talk.
“Okay. First, I was angry because you hit me without a good reason. Was that fair to me?”
“When I hit you, it’s because you suddenly hit me. Have I ever hit you without a reason?”
She shook her head. For the record, I only hit her when she hits me.
“So was I at fault?”
She shook her head.
“Next. Since you left, crying, Bibik told Sarah to sit at your chair since it was empty. Bibik didn’t know you were sitting there before and Sarah was just following Bibik’s orders. It’s not Bibik’s fault and it’s not Sarah’s fault.”
“Sarah didn’t know that you prepared the sirap for yourself. She saw it at the table and she drank it, thinking it was for her. Is it her fault?”
She shook her head.
“Then, should you be angry at Sarah? She didn’t know.”
Still sobbing, but she said no.
“You know this was a misunderstanding. You have a choice. You can choose to spend the whole evening being miserable, locking yourself in this room or you can choose to be happy with everyone else downstairs. So you want to be miserable or be happy?”
“Good. Then go to the bathroom and wash your face, then stare at the mirror and practice smiling before you go downstairs.”
But she was still.
“I need a moment.”
I told her to take her time.
After that, she got up, went to the bathroom as I suggested, washed the tears off her face and went in front of the mirror, looking at her reflection and trying to smile.
To be honest, I was amazed that she was listening to me and reacting positively. After that I led her downstairs. Took a while for her to warm up once again, but at least she didn’t spend the night crying over what was, a small matter.
So I’m thinking, it’s really better to reason things out with kids when things like this happen.