Nothing But the Truth
Updated: Oct 9, 2018
When disciplining children at school, we often get stuck at getting students to take ownership. Students will deny and deny the "truth" of what happened - wasting precious social teaching time. This made me think... we have to come up with a way to get around this spiraling argument and get to the meat and potatoes of how to fix our reputations and mend our relationships without necessarily agreeing on the "truth".
Being caught in a mistake feels, hurting feelings, and feeling disliked can be awful. We can do a lot to avoid feeling badly - even convince ourselves of an altered version of the truth. Kids do this too.
Sometimes, we don't even think we made a mistake. We simply disagree that someone should have been hurt by our words or actions. Perhaps we were being honest and it revealed someone else's mistakes. I shouldn't have to apologize for things I do not think are wrong.
Think of this lesson as a way to push for peace over justice. Teach kids that there is work to be done when relationships are damaged regardless of if we can agree on what actually happened.
Here is another warning about advocacy. We should not ask students to apologize blindly and assume fault unfairly. Part of the resource below is "speak your truth" - this tool opens the conversations between all parties where intentions get explained and inner thinking is revealed. This is part of relationship mending - coming to understand each other and work to make things better moving forward. Ignorance can be a strong dividing power, but empathy can bring a community together.