Early in our parenting career, my wife and I decided that the whole “don’t show your emotion” thing was nonsense. When we’re angry we want the boys to know it, both so they will understand the trouble they’re in, and also to show them that it’s okay to get angry.
And, to be completely honest, I think parents (and teachers) look more than a little psycho when they’re forcing themselves to smile as they politely tell a kid to stop misbehaving.
Last night, my wife called with a funny account from the parenting front. She’s in Texas with the kids right now, and had heard someone say that it was important for the kids to know they are being helped and not scolded…
“So I told them I wasn’t scolding them,” she reported over the phone. Apparently, the boys has been fighting with each other, and at the end of their little tiff, my wife “helped” them to understand that they shouldn’t fight.
“And how’d that go?” I asked.
“I don’t know, Mommy,” she mimicked, in a near perfect imitation of our oldest son, “it sure sounds like you’re scolding us.”
I laughed. “So much for that idea.”
“…then they both started laughing.” she said.
“My fault.” I said.