The last few days, Kubla makes a new friend on the playground. We like the parents, too. They invite our family over for dinner.
They live on a 3rd floor walk-up. The kids are a little tired, a lot hungry. They race up the stairs. No one tells Kubla the rule that this girl always wins the race.
She howls in protest at the gross injustice of being 2nd up the stairs. We all shuffle in. Our hosts are a little embarrassed, but we ignore the crying in the other room. They assure us she’ll calm down soon. We sit down to dinner.
Kubla’s friend joins us at the table. But the tantrum is just beginning. We do our best to get through dinner while we alternately ignore and try to calm her screaming, kicking, toy hurling rage.
It’s still not over by the time we finish dinner and start to walk home.
“So Kubla, did you notice anything interesting about dinner at your friend’s home tonight?”
“She never stopped yelling and crying?”
“Yeah,” I say. “It’s like looking in a mirror, isn’t it?”
He doesn’t like the comparison, but Kubla certainly knows what it’s like to have challenges controlling his anger. He’s thoughtful the rest of the walk home.
The next few weeks, Kubla keeps his anger from boiling over. We continue to play with that girl in the park, but he no longer seems interested in play dates at her home.
What do you wish your kids could see more clearly about their own behavior?
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