A new level of mean

I’m sure I’m not the only parent who despairs at their kids – at least those who have learnt to adequately express themselves and who show some ability to think rationally – apparently considering crying as an adequate response to any problem they encounter. It drives me nuts sometimes! And I have less and less patience for it as Ella grows older.

When I found Ella in tears last night when I returned from doing something outside, I first thought something “serious” had happened. Something that I should have been there for, right near her. You can hear the guilt process starting, can’t you. So when I finally managed to decipher her sob-soaked explanation and realised that she was only crying because the computer she was playing a game on “did something wrong”, I was NOT happy. I quickly decided that for once I did not want to resort to speaking angrily, or yet again trying to explain to her that crying never fixes anything, that every problem has a solution and that crying prevents us from thinking straight and therefor coming up with an effective course of action; only for her to then defend herself with the standard “but I forgot”. No, it was time again for a dose of sarcasm. Not in the least because it makes ME feel better.

So my response to Ella’s crying over her computer game disappearing was to say – in a sugar-sweet voice: “Oh! Did the naughty computer make you cry? I can fix that right away”. I walked over to the computer, sat down and… switched it off. “There, the naughty computer has gone to sleep and can not make you cry anymore.”

I must say that the reaction I got from her was not as strong as I’d expected. I think she was too stunned. I also believe that – after initially thinking that I really totally misunderstood her (oh how ignorant grown-ups can be!) – she recognised my twisted version of the natural consequences tactic.

The end does justify the means sometimes. With the stress on mean mum.


One Response to “A new level of mean”

  1. jeanie Says:

    I think that is an excellent solution – you took the bad guy OUT of the equation!

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