Friday, February 22, 2008

Joy, or at least the lack of screaming

Last night I had somewhat of a victory in my quest toward more joy. I sat down to play Monopoly with the boys;they had never played before. We were playing and having a fun time and I had warned them that Monopoly is a loooong game and that we probably would not be able to finish before bed time. Did I mention that we were having fun? Everyone was playing nice, no screaming when they got sent to jail, etc. About 30 minutes after their bed time I said that we would each take 1 more turn and then put it away and go to bed. Headless Boy 2 tried to buy more houses and we told him no. He was ok with that. Headless Boy 1 apparently didn't listen and tried to buy more houses. We told him no also. Freaking out ensued. Really. Money was thrown. Not pretty.

(Here is where, in the past, I would have had the equal but opposite freak out. Complete with shouting. You know the drill.)

He got a quick swat on the behind and had to clean up the mess that he had made. Still freaking out. (Here is where I get impressive...) I calmly talked him down from the ledge. I explained how it is ok to get mad at that decision, even be angry, but his ACTIONS were out of proportion with the situation and HE ALONE is responsible for is actions. He really tried to work it and say that I was responsible, you now, the cause and effect argument. I continued to calmly tell him that the effect part was getting mad but that he CHOSE to lash out inappropriately. He started to get it.

The greatest part of this is that I reminded him that I wasn't mad at his outburst, that I was just trying to correct his behavior. I asked him what my usual reaction would have been? and we agreed that I would have stormed out and probably not talked to him (except to say good night) for the rest of the evening. I would have done just what I was trying to correct him on. But I didn't, and he recognized that I was handling it differently. I admitted to making mistakes and told him that I was trying to be a better mom in these situations.

And he gave me the biggest, tightest hug that he's given me in a long time.

Joy, 1, Anger, 0

And tonight we played again. And he beat the pants off of HD and I.

And he went to bed happy.


Keetha said...

Great story!!!

The only thing - - - - in my humble opinion there is NO SUCH THING as having fun playing Monopoly. Those two things in the same sentence is an oxymoron!!!!! :-)

Hey - - - even though I personally do NOT imbibe in the Monopoly habit, I know many who do and they leave their games out and on the go for days on end until it finally DOES come to a crashing end.

Keetha said...

Fix the grammar - - - those two things ARE an oxymoron

Queen B said...

Way to go! I need to take a few lessons from you. I so often lose it when my daughter does.

Two nights of Monopoly? Are you the perfect mom or what?!

Sam said...

I'm trying to get better as well. I noticed back in December that my temper was quick to flare, and flared BIG. And I wasn't sure why.

I still don't know if I'm sure why, but I know it's not good, and I'm trying to work on talking more to the kids, getting down on their level and explaining why I'm denying a request or asking that they do something (or stop doing something). I feel better about it, anyway. :) But I do think they're responding better.

Problem with your story is I can see HB1 doing all those things in my mind's eye and I just giggle. :)

(And as a final buzzkill, I agree with Keetha - I'm no fan of Monopoly. I'm more of a Trivial Pursuit guy, or Scattergories. But you knew that. :)