Monday, October 10, 2011

Sometimes, All They need is Love


One day last week, my nearly 4-year-old Miles was really testing me.

Hitting his sister. Throwing toys. Sneaking out of time out. Not listening.

We hadn't even eaten lunch yet, and Miles had been in time-out countless times and had even been sent to his room twice. At this rate, I wasn't really sure how we were going to make it through the rest of the day.

As I was preparing lunch, he walked into the kitchen on yet another path of destruction. He took a toy from his little brother. He threw his sister's cup into the sink before she had time to finish her drink.

I grabbed him by the arm as he stomped past. I wasn't sure what I was going to do: Send him to time out - hasn't been working today. Send him to his room - hasn't been working today. Ask him to stop - hasn't been working today.

I got down on my knees to talk to him at his level - still not sure what I was going to say.

And when I looked into his eyes, I pulled him close and gave him a great, big bear hug. I rocked him back and forth and whispered that he was my very favorite oldest child. That he was usually such great big brother to Alice and Simon. That I loved him so very much.

And then I asked him why he thought he was having such a rough day.

"Oh mom," he said. "I just wanted you to hug me."

And with that, he ran off and was well-behaved for the rest of the day.

And I know there are still time-outs and bad days in our future, but it was a good reminder that "kids need love the most, when they deserve it the least."

What's your fast-fix for poor behavior?

Anna Luther, mother of three.

1 comment:

  1. I ask my two boys what they think that behavior will get them. They usually respond with "nothing" or give me a punishment idea like "going to my room, or grounded" I don't even have to do those things usually because they see the error of their ways. They are also told what that behavior will get them when they are an adult. Stops them every time :)

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