Tuesday, December 27, 2011

if only we knew what you were sorry for!

Boys are so different than girls. Girls hang on to injustices while boys seem to shake them off more quickly. At least this is what I witnessed over the weekend.

My big four and a half year old has been planning his fifth birthday party for months now. When I make him mad with my constant requests to hang up his coat or to get ready for bed he frequently tells me, "You are NO LONGER invited to my birthday party." Sure, kiddo. I'll stay home. Let's see your dad plan and execute a party for 15 five year olds. Sadly, my sarcasm is lost on my big four and a half year old.

So I wasn't all that surprised on Christmas day when I overheard my son heading up his grandparents' basement stairs telling his younger cousin, "If you do that you are NOT MY FRIEND." As I got up to open the basement door and stop the impending fight my son followed up his threat with, "You are NOT INVITED to my birthday party!"

I gently pulled my son into the laundry room and patiently explained that his upcoming birthday party was not the social event of the year that he seemed to think it was. That perhaps his cousin wasn't waiting on pins and needles for his engraved invitation to arrive in the mail. That it wasn't nice to say things like that. I explained how we should handle ourselves when a friend, (or cousin), upsets us. How we walk away or make the decision to do what our friend wants to do instead. How we put our friends first. How we don't say things we don't mean, and how hurtful our words can be. I hugged my young son and walked him out of the laundry room into the living room where his young cousin was now hanging out with his mother and aunt. I was so proud of my teaching moment and my amazing parenting techniques. No one cried! No one was screaming! No time outs were needed! I am amazing!

My son walked up to his cousin and this is what I heard:

son: "I'm sorry."
cousin: "What for?"
son: "I don't know."
cousin: "I don't know either."
son: "OK."
cousin: "OK."


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