One of the basic beliefs in Restitution is that kids are doing the best that they can. This is based on the idea that every person wants to be successful, and that if we could, we would. The problem is that sometimes we don’t have the skills, or we have competing needs that are difficult to manage. The restitution process is all about helping kids to understand their needs and learn how to meet them in more effective ways.
In my job, I work a lot with parents to help them find effective ways of dealing with behavior. And one of the interesting things I’ve noticed is that while many people buy into the belief that kids are doing the best that they can, they don’t believe the same about themselves.
I’ve seen so many parents break down in tears when they learn about Restitution. They feel that they have failed their children by dealing with their behavior in negative ways.
But all of us are doing the best we can. I have never met a parent who didn’t want their child to be successful. None of us chooses to behave in a way that we know is going to hold our kids back. When we yell or threaten or hit our kids, it’s because we can’t figure out a better way in that moment to manage a difficult situation.
Instead of beating yourself up for the choices you made in the past, honour the fact that you did the best that you could at that time. Now that you know a better way, you can do better in the future!