Yesterday, my 5 yo DD was in the backyard along with myself, my two younger kids and an adult family friend B. DD was playing with a squishy ball and threw it at B's head, hitting her. DD claims it was an accident, but I saw her do it and she aimed. I tried to get her to apologize to B but she flat out refused to do it. Now, DD can be a little shy, esp with B. She's not too bad with people she sees often (grandparents) but even though she see B two or three times a month, she more or less refuses to talk to her. I don't push it and sometimes DD will relax and turn into a chatter box. Sometimes she won't. Either way we just go with the flow. Except yesterday, I really felt that an apology was necessary. She threw the ball and hit B in the head and that's kind of my line in the sand. But she just refused to do it. Our converstation went something like this:
Me: You hurt B. What should you do when you hurt someone?
DD: Say sorry.
Me: So should you say sorry to B?
Me: Ok, lets go.
Me: Why not?
Me: Because what?
Me: Because WHAT??!
DD: BECAUSE!! *screams in my face*
This converstation repeated several times in various manners. As I"m sure you can imagine, things basically broke down into a screaming match complete with temper tantrums (her and I both, I'll be honest). There was NOTHING I could coax, threaten or entice her with that would have made her apologize. I offered to hold her hand, I told her she didn't even have to look at B, I told her she'd have to stay in her room until she apologized, I told her she'd feel better once she apologized, I threatened spanking, I did spank (not my proudest moment and I already feel bad enough about it so plz let that one lie). Still a flat out refusal to apologize. She ended up staying in her room the rest of the night which she thought was just great fun and accomplished a whole lot of nothing. How could this have been handled differently? I do feel that she needed to apologize because she did hit B, accidently or on purpose doesn't really matter, you hit someone you apologize.
Also, I'd say its pretty obvious we don't communicate well. I can't get the girl to tell me anything. I get a lot of "I don't know"s. I'm fairly certain I'm just asking in the wrong way, but I can't figure out the *right* way, kwim? I really want to lay down a good foundation of communication now. I find I end up naming what I think is wrong and basically she always tells me I'm right. Either I'm really good at reading her or she's just adopting whatever emotion or situation I'm throwing out. I'm concerned its the latter. I want so desperately to talk with her and communicate and connect, I just don't know how. I want the mother/daughter relationship I never had (and most likely never will have) with my mother w/ my own DD. I want to do better than my mother, but so far I'm following in her footsteps. Please help me break the cycle.