As a writer I tend to observe people. The other day in Costco I witnessed an interesting situation with a mother and her toddler. As toddlers tend to do the young man expressed his feelings with his mother, raised his small voice and shouted “no” at her. I watched her reaction, she remained calm and simply said:
“You don’t yell at mommy, what do you say?”
The toddler stared at her, his lip out and proceeded to yell “no” again. She responded the same way. I stood behind them and waited for the line to clear as I continued to watch. After another minute we moved outside and the mother parked her cart. She stood her young man up, made sure she had his attention and repeated herself one more time. To my surprise her son looked at her and said, “I’m sorry mommy,” and hugged her. She said, “Thank you, I forgive you for yelling.” She picked him up and kissed him as he snuggled into her arms.
I stood there watching with shock at how she’d handled the situation and was teaching her son that yes, he can express his feelings, but there is an appropriate way to do it. I didn’t get the impression that she was correcting him for what he said, but how he spoke to her.
I can’t say I’d had the wisdom or energy as a single parent to implement this. I to often see children throwing huge tantrums in public, screaming at their mother’s and calling them names. It’s a difficult age to deal with, but I left the store impressed and with a nugget of wisdom.