Sunday, November 29, 2015

Magic Words

Last week, two of my tweens had the day off on a day my teenagers didn't.  We stayed up late playing a card game and my sixteen year old took umbrage at our late night laughter. He slammed the door and shouted down at us several times.  We started whispering.  He stomped in his room to let us know, even this was unacceptable.  We'd just finished so we said good night and shut down the room.

The next morning, as I climbed the stairs to wake him, I wondered, how to address his anger, to help him learn a better way than to yell "Shut up." at his family.   Rubbing his feet to wake him, his first words were, "I'm sorry."  He sank into the foot rub and smiled.

"Maybe, instead of "Shut up!" which doesn't get you what you want most times it's used, you could yell "Foot RUB!"

"FOOT RUB!" he shouted.

I rubbed his feet. He grinned. "See, it worked much better."

I got up to leave.


I came back and crunched his toes.  "I need to make the lunches." He smiled and stretched.

"Foot rub?"

One more time.  
"You should apologize to your brother and sister."
"I will."

We'll see what happens the next time we're up late playing cards and he wants to sleep.

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