When There is No Do-Over

downloadBy Donna Shea & Nadine Briggs

The ability to offer a do-over during a contested call in a social game is a skill that many children need to learn. Do-overs are an easy way to settle a squabble and move forward.

One of the things that parents, educators, and all who work with children can also do, is to extend a child a do-over when something goes wrong. Maybe a child has used a rude tone of voice with us, or in some way done an act that is displeasing. Most of the time, if you give a child a respectful chance to back up and re-do whatever it was, they will. It brings relief to both sides of the conflict or error, and again, everyone moves forward.

Even adults can allow each other a do-over. We all make mistakes, and sometimes in the heat of the moment, we may even say or do something purposefully hurtful.

If however, the rudeness or negative actions continue or are frequent, and do-overs have been given, that child or person is now purposefully misbehaving and consequences are in play. Maybe it’s removing your attention from the child saying rude things until they approach you respectfully. In extreme cases, maybe you may have to end a friendship because too many do-overs given to someone means they don’t really care about the relationship enough to make a do-over stick.

Sometimes, in many situations, a do-over isn’t available to us. Something has gone wrong, and it can’t be fixed. We may suffer a loss over our ability to do-over. When that happens, we can only learn from it and perhaps, do better.