“I don’t want to be a part of this family anymore!” That is what my six year old son said to me when he was mad at me a while ago. He had been put into a quiet time for purposely hurting his five year old sister.
This is not the first time he said it either. He had been lashing out at me whenever he was mad. It did not matter if he was mad at me or someone else, he would still direct it at me. I had ignored it before but this time I knew that if I did not stop and doing something he was going to continue to lash out at me every time he was mad. I wanted to show him the importance of words.
I had been in the middle of making lunch when he got into trouble, I let him sit in time out while I finished lunch and then called him out to eat. After a few minuets I went out and very calmly told him that since he told me he did not want to be a part of this family anymore that when he was done eating he needed to go upstairs and pack a bag. We were going to have to find him somewhere new to live. I told him it couldn’t be with Grandma and Grandpa or Aunts and Uncles since they were also family members. At first he just stared at me and then he got a very mean look on his face and he said. ” Fine, you are not allowed to visit me ever then.” I sadly told him I was sad he did not want to see me anymore but if that is what he wants, I guess that is what we will do.
Then I started to eat my lunch again. That is when he started to cry, threw his arms around my neck and told me he did not want to go. I hugged him and told him he did not have to go anywhere. That I said that because I wanted him to know that he can not just say those things and that words hurt. He stopped crying and I asked him if he was ready to talk and he was.
Then we sat down and talked about why he had been saying such hurtful things to mommy. He told me he did not like getting in trouble and he thinks he is in trouble more then his sisters. He also told me he just gets so mad and that he just says things because he is mad. We talked about how I think he is a really good boy, that yes he does get corrected but that doesn’t mean mommy thinks he is bad all the time. We talked about the importance of words, that words can hurt people really badly and that he hurt mommy’s feelings very badly when he talked to me that way.
I asked him how he felt when people said mean things to him or what he would think if someone told him they did not want to be around him anymore. He admitted those things would hurt his feelings and that he was very sorry he talked to me that way. We talked a little more about how to handle our emotions when we are angry and that sometimes the best thing to do is take some quiet time before we talk. That way we have time to think before we say anything.
I am happy to report that since that day he really seems to have learned the importance of words. He has not said anything mean to me and he seems to be thinking about what he says more before he talks.
We are also starting a new thing in the house. We are making an “I caught you being good” jar and when the kids do something really nice without being told they get rewarded. We will add a pompom to their jar and when it is full they will get to turn it in for a prize. I am hoping that this will be away to get him to see that I know he is a good boy and reward his good choices, not only punish his bad ones.