He just plain ol’ wore me down
Now I’ve always said that there is some other kid who was born on the same day as my Mr 7 who is a “blob”. By this I mean, Mr 7 has his own dose AS WELL AS another child’s dose of enthusiasm, intensity and sheer persistence. I have to admit, he can outlast me. And yesterday afternoon that’s what happened.
So we got a Nutri Ninja (yes the lesser version of a Nutri Bullet) and he’s become quite addicted to smoothies. Yesterday after school Mr 7 harped and harped and harped on at me asking if he would be able to have a smoothie after dinner. I said” no, you won’t” multiple times….. Until I said, “maybe”. Eeeek! There it is. My error!!! So of course, after dinner Mr 7 asked for it and when I said no (I’d managed to summon some energy by then) he reminded me I’d said “maybe”. Well he actually initially tried to say I had said he COULD have one but quickly conceded that I’d said maybe.
So began my rant about “how he asked and asked and asked and I kept saying no, no, no but then he wore me down and I said ‘maybe’ and this is what happens when you wear me down… I say things I don’t mean and then you get upset when I don’t deliver and just say no again and blah blah blah”. It was a GREAT rant!
Of course we had tears – his not mine. Although I was so over it by then and also cranky with myself for this most obvious parenting stuff up that they were close! However in a rare moment when I came to my senses (I did a lot of deep breathing), I stopped ranting. I put my psych head back into the game (sometimes I’m very grateful that I understand some of the theory of this stuff – and extremely grateful if I actually act on it) and dealt with it a little more effectively.
So what did I do?
I acknowledged his enormous frustration and anger about not having a smoothie in the first place but also then having some hope that he might get a smoothie but then saying “no” and then ranting at him. All of us are more likely to move on from intense and distressing emotions when we feel our emotions are validated.
I told him that I shouldn’t have said “maybe” when really I did mean “no”. I told him that I will tell him next time “asked and answered” which means “don’t bother asking me again because I have answered your question” and that he will need to find a way to cope with that. Reminding him of the rules of the “game” so I can pull that out next time AND also being clear that it’s real life kiddo, you’ll hear “no” a lot.
But…. at 7 years of age I’ll help him manage his emotions. Because 7 year old’s struggle with that stuff.
So after a little while, Mr 7 settled down, gave me a cuddle and we got on with the evening. I’ve no doubt this will happen a gazillion times over because I definitely will say “no” to him again and he has much to learn. But for now, I’m enjoying the peace and quiet!