Once upon a time a young mother was exhausted and frazzled. She cried as her four-year-old continued to scream his demands. Daddy left the garage workbench to investigate.
“What is going on here? Are you OK?”
Through swollen eyes, Mommy pleaded, “I can’t take one more moment. Please help me.”
Filled with compassion, Dad remembered a sermon by his pastor. “Even criminals get time off for good behavior. Be sure and give your wife mad money and a day off.”
Daddy led Mommy into the bedroom to retrieve her purse.
“You take the day off. We will be fine. I’ll take care of Tommy.” He placed a fifty-dollar bill in her hand. “Go do something fun and don’t come back until Tommy is in bed.”
He kissed away her tears and waved goodbye. Filled with optimism, he turned to his son. “Guess what, Tommy? We have the entire day together.”
Daddy’s positive feelings soon faded into frustration. When Daddy wanted to take a walk, Tommy insisted they play ball. When Daddy tried to play ball, Tommy screamed for his bike. When Daddy fixed the wheel on Tommy’s bike, Tommy pitched a fit to watch TV.
Tired of the constant fighting, Daddy suggested lunch. Tommy stomped his feet when Daddy placed peanut butter and jelly on the table. “No, no, no. I don’t want it!”
Daddy was determined this would not be a fight. He pointed to every type of food in the kitchen, hoping his son would be satisfied with the ability to choose. Tommy was not satisfied.
“Just tell me what you want!” Daddy was frustrated and tired.
Tommy thought for a moment. “I Want fried worms.”
Daddy was not amused and decided to hold him to his request. “Are you sure?”
“Yes! I want fried worms.”
Daddy went to the garden and found a long, fat worm. He sat Tommy on the counter by the stove so he could watch. Daddy buttered the pan and fried the slithering worm until it no longer moved.
“Onions with that, sir?” Daddy joked.
Tommy smiled, “No, thank you.”
Daddy sat Tommy in the high chair and placed the fried worm in front of him. Tommy frowned.
“What’s wrong now?”
“You have to eat it with me.”
“I don’t want a fried worm.”
Tommy screamed, “NO, you have to eat it too.”
Daddy wasn’t about to let Tommy win this confrontation. He cut the worm in half and ate it. Tommy screamed even louder.
“What’s wrong now?”
“You ate my piece!”
Children will always be frustrated with the freedom to make choices if they aren’t given instructions on “how” to make good choices. If you don’t teach your child how to make good choices and how to handle frustrations – you will doom them to a life of anger and disappointment. Not knowing “how” to make good decisions or how to be satisfied with a less than perfect decision will always leave us with disappointment and at times anger. Step up to the plate mommy and daddy and give your child a happier life by providing discipline, instructions on how to make good decisions and social education. 🙂