Sunday, September 11, 2016

JT gives a review

We held family council today. I had been pondering King Benjamin's injunction in the Book of Mormon that a good parent will teach their children not to fight. It occurred to me that we do a good job of stopping fights and sometimes tell the kids to work things out themselves, but have never given much instruction on how to do that. So I decided Joy and I would role play a typical argument for the kids and they would help us resolve the problem.

"Fairly innocent, right?" Joy asks. "It's what happens every day at our house"

We started by explaining to the children that we were role-playing as brother and sister. Then I started fidgeting with a ball. Joy took it right out of my hands. I demanded it back. She refused. I said I was playing with it first. She said she was playing with it now. I called out, "MOM!" When no answer came, I stood up and tried to take the ball back. This meant, happily for me, that I got to put my arms around my wife and hug her close while pretending to try to get the ball, with our backs to the kids.

It was at this moment, that little John-Thomas let us know that we had gone too far in our play-acting. He cried. He screamed. He was terrified. He had never seen Mommy and Daddy act that way. Daddy was not being soft with Mommy! (he thought)

We stopped at once and tried to comfort him and reassure him that we were just playing and we loved each other very much. It took a LONG time.

"Poor kid."

The other kids got the point about how contention is harmful to everyone!  They worked with us to find places where we could have stopped the problem from escalating. We admonished them to go and do likewise. JT is fine now and trusts both of us to be loving and happy. Hope our family council didn't scar him too badly.

JT is our most tender, loving, cuddly kid. He has been giving both of us great big hugs, saying "I love you, Mom" or Dad as the case may be. He prays for each of us at the top of his lungs, "Thank you for DADDY!" or Mommy as the case may be. It's very important that this loving little boy feel safe.

UPDATE 9/12: Superstar woke up this morning disappointed. He told Joy that he was all ready to be a peacemaker and avoid contention ... only there was no contention to avoid! No means of proving his kindness and fortitude. Oh well, maybe tomorrow.