Sometimes in the middle of an especially trying week one of your children, who has been especially whiney as of late, will have a very small part of one of his toys broken. This part is not broken in a way that would affect the ability to play with this toy but the reaction to this broken part is equivalent to the reaction you would expect a child to have from seeing a beloved pet gunned down in the streets by an angry drug cartel. (I guess Fido was into some shady business…) You, being the parent of this overly distraught child, takes the toy and fixes it as best you can with what you have on hand. Your child looks at the toy and says, “I guess that’s better than nothing,” in their snottiest, most privileged tone, snatches the toy out of your hand and walks away…
(Before I continue I want to state again that it was a really rough week.)
When the above scenario happened to me not so long ago what I wanted to do to my child was grab him by the scruff of the neck like he was shady Fido up there and be like “LISTEN HERE YOU UNGRATEFUL LITTLE SHIT, IF IT WASN’T FOR ME AND YOUR MOTHER YOU WOULDN’T EVEN HAVE THAT TOY! YOU WOULDN’T HAVE A PLACE TO KEEP THAT TOY! YOU WOULDN’T HAVE FOOD! OR A ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD! FOR FUCK SAKE, YOU WOULDN’T EVEN BE ALIVE!!!!!!!!! DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT?!?!?!? YOU WOULD BE DEAD IF IT WASN’T FOR US!!! DEAD, DEAD, DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
But that’s not what I did. No, I took a deep breath, reminded him that when someone does something nice for you the proper reaction is to say “thank you” and let him go and play with the toy.
It doesn’t always go this well but my reactions are never as bad as the things that go through my head when I get pushed just a touch too far. I’m really hoping this counts for something because if thoughts could make you a bad parent… Whew!