Today he got angry at his sister for something and turned over her nightstand. Granted it's wicker and lightweight, but still it's a lot for a little guy to push over. Out of anger. He was made to immediately apologize-- to her face-- and then clean up the mess. Every last book and little toy that had been arranged on it.
Meg Meeker, M.D., in her book Strong Mothers, Strong Sons: Lessons Mothers Need to Raise Extraordinary Men,* writes about the different emotional outbursts that sons will show to their parents, mostly their mothers, over the years. At this stage (little man is almost 3), it's best to just tell them that they're angry instead of asking them. I know when he's angry about something and I can normally identify the cause. So I've been practicing this. "You're angry. It's ok to be angry, it's not ok to ____." Throw toys, turn over furniture, hit.
He's still our sweet little boy, he's just feeling a lot of feelings that he doesn't know fully how to express in a healthy way. Something that a lot of adults haven't mastered. So we keep trying and keep working to immediately correct bad behavior. In our children, and, of equal importance, in ourselves. And we try our best to model what we want to see in our children. They are perfect little reflections of our best and worst behaviors.
From Dr. Meeker's Strong Mothers, Strong Sons: Lessons Mothers Need to Raise Extraordinary Men (loving it so far!)
"We are the ones who will never leave. We are the ones who can take the arrows because we love our sons when no one else will, and they know it. And we will always be there when they return, regardless of how volatile the wars have been. How blessed we are to be the mothers of sons."
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