Riley set out to find the girl, in order for Seth to apologize.
It took a good five minutes of explaining, to get her to understand that the person who apologizes is the one who did something wrong. Not the person who was done wrong.
"Riley, if I accidently bump into you, do you apologize to me?"
"If I push you down on purpose, who apologizes?"
Riley and Seth go off to play, and I see them heading straight toward the girl.
"Riley! Get over here." I yell.
"What are you doing sweetie?""I'm going to go tell her she has to apologize."
The little girl who kicked Seth's toy is not a happy kid. She was rude and sarcastic to Riley right in front of me the previous day at the school playground. It went right over my daughter's head, but I'm pretty sure she'll tell Riley to get lost, or worse.
"But I want her to apologize to Seth, so we can all be friends."
"She's not going to apologize Riley."
"But she did wrong. She HAS to."
"It would be nice if she did, but I don't think she will. Sometimes it's just better to leave people alone if they aren't being nice. It makes more sense to get away from them."
"But you said, the person who did wrong has to apologize."
And on and on and on it went.
If I'd let her approach the girl, the outcome was certain to be unpleasant. Still, if I thought she would learn by example I would have let her do it. The thing is, Riley could be getting beaten to a pulp, and would still be insisting the girl apologize.
Can we have a little gray please?