I admire my son so much. He is just like me in responding emotionally to stress and conflict and so unlike me in his ability to look at his emotions objectively. This afternoon he dove headfirst into a pity-party and sabotaged a few hours of family time. Once he was calm, he asked me to explain why I was showing him my “hard side.” (That’s when I’m breathing fire and not speaking. Not good. :))
He looked ready to talk about it, so I laid out a few observations I had about him letting his emotions get beyond his control and using them against the entire family to try and get his way, and some mumbo-jumbo about parents not being allowed to show their soft side when kids are being nuts.
His eyes opened really wide as he took it in and nodded slowly. Then he asked if I knew of any way he could get the afternoon back on track.
I gave him two options. Both of them were pretty tough ones involving putting his desires aside and doing what was best for the family. He went above and beyond. He showed me some real emotional strength. The desire to give in was all over him, but he pushed through until the mood subsided. Wow. Now that is power.
I don’t have that kind of power yet and I’m so much older. Maybe he can be my strength coach some day!