Had a conversation with my 8-year-old today.  He was angry because--before I go on I need to explain how big of a deal it is when he gets angry.  His face turns down into the most amazing scowl, his forehead wrinkles, his eyes start sparking little bits of flame, and you feel waves of anger rippling from him, as if he was the epicenter of some tremendous earthquake.  To explain further, this is the child that runs through the house enacting full-scale battles in his mind and who finds peace in the intense songs from the “How to Train Your Dragon” soundtrack.  So he was angry.  The type of angry that I just mentioned.  And he was angry because he couldn't play computer.  This may sound a bit childish, which wouldn't be incorrect because he is a child, but for him it’s much more than that.  What it really meant to him is that life was just not going the way he wanted it to.  Period.  And he was ANGRY about it.  In a moment of rare brilliance, here’s what I said to him:

You need to decide where you want to be in life.  You’re angry because it’s not going the way you want, but being angry’s not going to get you anywhere.  

Let’s say you want to be over there on the couch but you’re standing here next to me.  No amount of being angry is going to instantly make you be on the couch.  You have to figure out how to get there, and there are a lot of ways that you could get there.  It’s the same way with everything in life.  

If you are not where you want to be, it’s OK to be angry because the anger helps us know that we’re not where we want to be.  Just don’t stay there because you’re just going to stay angry.  Figure out how to make your life be what you want it to be then do what you need to do to make it happen.  Just like in order to get to the couch, you need to actually move there.  You have to do something that will move you in the right direction and keep it up until you get there.

If you want to play computer more often, you have to figure out how to make that part of your life.  We have rules in our house that are already set out.  You know what the requirements are to get the computer time you want.  I’m not going to change the rules just because you’re not where you want to be, or just because you’re angry.  You have to do what it takes to get what you want, following the guidelines that are already set.

In the way of life while I was speaking to him, I felt like I was really speaking to myself.

Posted by Lucas Jones On 8/17/2013 11:39:00 PM 1 comment

1 comment:

  1. Love it. Thank you, I love your analogy, and it was what I needed to hear (or read) today.


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