That was the case today. One day it may be clear sailing and the next a hurricane surge of raw emotions.
At times like these, Hubby and I attempt to navigate the oncoming storm by asking a simple question, "Are you trying to get into more trouble?" This is sometimes worded with a more positive spin, "How can you get out of trouble?" Depending on the emotional weather conditions, these questions may be met with a deep breath and a calm response as our son or daughter consider their words carefully, attempting to calm the storm within. At other times, well, not so much.
Fortunately, theses flash flood teen moments, tend to calm down as quickly as they arose and that is when we might revisit a particular punishment to confirm if it did indeed fit the crime. Our kids know that they can approach us calmly, with reasonable suggestions for an alternative disciplinary action. Sometimes we may stand firm and at other times we may relent, having recognized that we too may have gotten caught up in the tornado of emotions when forming our original judgment.
It is quite important, as a parent, to recognize when we may have over reacted...just a bit. We must ask ourselves if the punishment we have chosen for a particular infraction is appropriate or not. It is at this point that I usually call Hubby and bother him at work!
The most memorable time, was when Darlin' was in preschool and I called Hubby out of sheer frustration. I did not know what to do, because after things had escalated so much, I realized I had just taken water away from her for a week! His calm response was, "I'm pretty sure we can't do that." Naturally, I knew that my discipline had become quite ludicrous and I needed another, less emotional, parent to step in and help.
Our kids know that we recognize our mistakes. Even today, after calmly issuing the 5-page essay verdict, I was willing to acknowledge that an appeal could be made to Hubby to determine if I hadn't repeated the water fiasco. Now that the storm has subsided, I am probably much more willing to accept the oral presentation that was offered as an alternative.
As we continue to navigate the choppy waters of the teen years, I am thankful that they respond pretty well to our mayday signal. "Are you trying to get into more trouble?" Just like an S.O.S. from a sinking ship, it bears repeating.
< previous 31 Days post ~ next 31 Days post >