In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Take a deep breath...
Some people write deep analysis of ways to parent effectively. But me, one of the best parenting skills I've got, is to just take a deep breath.
I've utilized this technique since my 3 sons were young. When they were in early elementary school and would get rambunctious and break a window or something in the house - I'd take a deep breath. Or when they'd get to punching one another and making a lot of loud noise - I'd take a deep breath. Those deep breaths helped me maintain control in the face of my own intense responses to their childish misbehavior.
Tonight I had an experience with my 17 year old son that shows me that this technique still works.
As we were all getting to the dinner table to sit down and share the meal, my 17 year old announces that he needs to make spending money (about a week ago he and I had a thoughtful money discussion which resulted in me increasing the amount of his allowance but letting him know that I would not give him any additional monies unless he completed special projects around the house to earn the money). He said he's come up with a plan that will bring in a phenomenal rate of return on investment, but that he will need some assistance from me. He asked if I would take $30 he'd give me and obtain Oxycodone so he could take them to school and easily sell them for more than four times the amount for which they were purchased. I retorted that this was called "pushing drugs" and that of course I would not do that; that Oxycodone is an opiate like morphine or heroine. He said that what with getting good grades and working toward a football scholarship, he doesn't have time for a part time job. Did I want him to just get a job and forget about good grades and sports?
I almost started to argue the point, but I realized that he was working to reel me in once again. This son has always been the biggest button pusher on the planet, and adores nothing more than getting me upset. So what did I do? I took a deep breath and continued to do so to refrain from speaking.
When he gave a repeat performance for my husband John as he was sitting down at the table, John just laughed at the absurdity. After dinner I had my 17 year old come over to the computer with me so we could google Oxycodone. He was amazed at what he learned. He'd thought I had been exaggerating when I'd told him it was an opiate, but when he saw the same information on Wikipedia, he believed. When we repeatedly read from several sources that respiratory problems as severe as death could be caused by an overdose of Oxycodone, he said that he didn't realize it had such serious side effects. The fact that Oxycodone produces "emotional blunting" gave rise to a great discussion about why a person would want to prevent themselves from experiencing emotions.
So what could have resulted in me once again rising to the bait of my teenager trying to get me agitated for his amusement, was prevented by the simple act of taking a deep breath.
What's a super simple parenting technique that you've found useful?