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.