Well, perhaps “falsely accused” isn’t the best description of what happened. It’s more like “unjustly reprimanded,” but who would read a blog with that title? It does fall under the same category though.
Here’s what happened…
I was in the car, in line, at a light that had turned green. The humongous truck in front of me turned right, which left a large open space so I went from stopped to 35 (which is the speed limit in that section). As I was getting my speed up, I saw a police car coming in the other lane, so I did what we all do and looked at my speedometer. Yup, 35, but I slowed down a little anyway (like we all do). Then I drove by a sheriff coming out of a parking lot who stuck his head out the window moving his arm up and down telling me to slow down. I was like, “What?! I’m going under the speed limit!” and I kept on driving. I’m thankful he didn’t come after me, even if it would have been unjustified, but I was rather upset that he had even reprimanded me, when I wasn’t doing anything wrong. It bothered me all the way home, about 10 minutes, until I told Jim about it.
Then I got to thinking, “I bet this is how kids feel when we get on them for doing something they didn’t do.” For example remember the time you…
• Told someone to “cut it out” and they looked surprised
• Insisted someone clean up the mess that they didn’t make
• Took something away from the person who had it in the first place
Most of us have done it. It’s human nature to react to what we see, hear, or think. The interesting thing is that often times we are noticing the reaction to the first action that we missed.
I have to tell you, it really bothered me to be unjustly reprimanded when I hadn’t actually done anything wrong. I bet you’ve had it happen to you and you felt the same way. Now think about how a child feels when it happens to them. Probably bothered, maybe confused or frustrated.
No one likes to be falsely accused. It’s not always easy, but let’s try to stop for just a second, assess a situation and try to be sure we are speaking to the correct person before we reprimand someone.
*Pam Horton Is a Board Certified Advanced Christian Life Coach and Parenting Coach.