Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Right. — Why I’m Thankful My Kid is Crying.

on October 28, 2013

My husband and I went out of town this weekend for a night and Nana came over to stay with the kiddos.

I’m not sure what got into the boy-child, but he decided this would be a good weekend to try on a new costume for Halloween.

Apparently, it is all the rage and quite popular among his set. It is called Five-Year-Old Jerk.

I only know this because as soon as we arrived home, the girl-child did some reporting on his behavior.

Back-talking. Pouting. Stomping off. Playing with things he knows he is not supposed to. Perhaps a little attempted extortion as well.

Nothing too, too terrible, but certainly disrespectful and absolutely not acceptable.

So as Mommas and Daddies do, we called him into the office to have ‘the talk’.

He completely knew that this jig was up. He came in with a shy smile and tried to work his precious blue eyes, charming red hair and freckles for all they were worth.

Until he realized it wasn’t working.

We calmly explained that we love him very much, but we were very disappointed in his behavior. That his Nana doesn’t deserve to be treated like that. And that there would be a consequence.

The quiet tears began somewhere between disappointed and consequence.

I am not a heartless Momma, but in this case. I’m thankful my son is crying.

Because it means he is sorry.

He feels some remorse for saying what he said and doing what he did.

He should.

He should feel bad.

Of course there is a part of me that hates to see him cry.

But I think I would be more concerned if he wasn’t upset at all.

He went to his Nana and gave her a big hug around the neck and told her, through some tears, in a genuine and weepy way, that he was sorry for not listening and talking back at her. And he told her that he loved her.

That’s what we do when we mess up, right?

We have all done this. We have all said things or have done things that hurt someone.

And when this happens, we should feel bad about it.

Then we should make it right. We should know that it is okay to say, “I’m sorry. I love you. I respect you. I appreciate you. And I shouldn’t have said that or I shouldn’t have done this.”

I’d be more concerned about us if we didn’t notice at all. Or worse. If we didn’t care.

Recently, I got frustrated at work and sent a more-snarky-than-usual note to a colleague. I heard back from this person who was just as frustrated with the situation.

But I felt bad about it. So I delivered a Crunch bar and a note that said, “Sorry. I think I was feeling a bit too much of the Crunch lately.”

The next day I received a Snickers bar and a note that said, “No worries. I’m sorry, too. I think we all need more Snickers and less Crunch in our days.”

Agreed. And thank goodness for cleverly-named Halloween chocolate.

Saying you are sorry means a lot. Really meaning it means even more.

Whether it is with tears or with a hug … or with chocolate, we just need to make it right.

Let’s all, Go. Do that.

P.S. The boy child did receive his consequence. He has lost a privilege for the next 5 days. Later that evening he brought me this piece of paper and said: You know how when people are in jail and they write the days they have left on the wall. This is that.”


I call that a parenting win.

Today’s Action Challenge: When you mess up, how do you make it right? Do you regret your actions or words? Do you say you are sorry? How do you show you mean it? If there is something wrong in your world that tears or a hug or a note … or a piece of chocolate can still right…

…then… Let’s all, Go. Do that.


4 responses to “Right. — Why I’m Thankful My Kid is Crying.

  1. Jan Francis says:

    His nana should practice the method of distracting him. Sometimes that works. 🙂 She will try to do better next time.

  2. genext13 says:

    Squirrely. It is that time of year. All children go through a case of the jerks at this time of the year. Some kids are more sensitive to it and take it to an artistic level but they all do it. My boy child went through 2 weeks at school where he was doing things I had to deal with when I was a behavior specialist. I knew it was not him, but I still had to have a lot of those talks with him.

  3. geanieroake says:

    It sounds like your kids learn from the consequences of their actions. It’s so hard to do, but such a good way to parent. Have you ever read any of the love and logic books?

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