Man, did this afternoon go in an ugly direction fast. I’m in the middle of a stand-off with my son.
The rest of the day was uneventful, even pleasant. The kids got ready for school fast and we got there on time. Jake was a little grumpy that he had to go back to school after a week and a half of spring break, but he was being good. After school, same thing.
When dinner was almost ready, I asked the kids to set the table. Fiona’s in the middle of a “great helper” phase, so she jumped to it. Jake was a little slower, but was doing it. I noticed that they hadn’t cleaned up the foil wrappers from some chocolate Easter eggs they had eaten earlier, so I asked Jake to put them in the garbage. He turned around and asked Fiona to do it. I stayed quiet, curious how it would play out (yes, it’s true, sometimes I look at them as little mice in an experiment).
Since her helpfullness isn’t specific to me, she did it, but she missed a couple of pieces. I asked Jake to grab them. Realizing that his sister hadn’t done as perfect a job as I wanted, he reached out and scratched her hand. WTF? She was doing his work without complaint AND getting hurt for not doing it right?
I said (calmy – I’m convinced his main goal when he’s in this mood is to get me to lose my shit) “Jake, get in the corner, seven minutes please.” That’s the first step when he’s in this mood. It’s not a punishment exactly, the purpose is just to get him to slow down and think about what he’s doing before he does something really bad. Like what he did on the way to the corner. As he was passing by me, he muttered “Shut up, dummy.”
With steely calm, I told him that he had lost TV, computer and video games for the rest of the night (tragic, really, because he had gotten his homework done quickly and would have had a couple of hours to play). He stomped over to the corner, where he proceeded to whistle, tap the wall, and hum – all against the “corner” rules. After telling him a couple of times to be quiet and still, I sent him upstairs. I told him that he could come down when he was ready to stand in the corner quietly, and then after that he could have his dinner.
After he was upstairs for about ten minutes, I started to think that maybe he didn’t understand. I repeated that he could come down when he was ready. He yelled down “I know.” And stayed up there.
It’s been about half an hour. His dinner is cold and it won’t be reheated. I’m not sure what he thinks he can gain from this, but I damn well know what I could lose. This is the kind of stand-off that can define a relationship. If I back down, it will come back to bite me in the ass over and over again. Unluckily for him, I’m just about the stubbornest person I know.
Originally posted on Selfish Mom