I had to figure out today what losing trust actually looks like. No eating lunch in my room, no more being my student assistant, and no more joking around. That's to start; we'll see if it goes anywhere else. It happened suddenly; no decree from me, threatening as to what the consequences would be if he didn't do x or y or z. Just a kid thumbing his nose at....well, at me.
Apologies can be so effective. But sometimes an apology is not enough. For an apology to matter, it has to not only sound good, it has to lead to a change. When apologies have been given over and over and over and OVER and nothing changes, they stop being real. They're just words. And as much as I usually believe in the power of words, sometimes words are empty and their only power is to suck the truth out of the ones that could have mattered.
(Image credit to Bitpicture - even though I'm really sad, looking at this picture kinda makes me smile, and I didn't want you all to have to deal solely with my whining....so you get a funny hydrant!)