|One ringy dingy. Two ringy dingy. "You've reached the complaint department. How may I help you?" In my Lilly Tomlin, pinched nostril voice.|
Every night before bed, I have "Me" time with Red, where I come into his room and give him my undivided attention for 10 to 15 minutes. Because I don't listen to him talk continuously enough during the day. The truth is there isn't enough time in the day to listen to him talk...especially to me...his favorite audience.
So I come into his room and lay on the bed for a few minutes of torture...I mean quality time. These conversations are never positive. They are usually a list of complaints about how how hard his life is...what he wants...and what he needs to buy that will instantaneously make his life so much better.
"Mom...you know I really need thus and such."
"Why don't any girls like me? It's not fair that don't I have a girlfriend. I guess I need to play sports so that I can get girls. Only football players get all of the girlfriends. I just need to work out, but I really hate sports. It's not fair that I should have to play sports just to get girls."
I think this is just the most comfortable language for him. He knows how to how to do this so well. He is a natural born complainer. If complaining paid...he would be rich! And be able to buy all of those things that will make his life so much better.
I have standard answers for all of these complaints, which are usually very clever and inspirational. This means nothing to him. My responses are always met with, "No...that won't work. That won't help." etc.
This time...I stop him dead in his tracks when he starts with his list.
"You know...it would be so nice if just one night I could come in here and you could tell me something positive about your day...about your life. Was there anything good about your day today? Is there anything that's going well in your life? Isn't there one thing that you can actually be grateful for?"
"Well...I'm starting to make new friends at school. I get to spend time with people who understand me and are more like me."
"Really? Wow! That's great! Anything else?"
"My teachers are all pretty nice," he says in a very flat tone.
"Awesome! That's cool! Let's say a prayer right now letting God know how grateful you are for those things in your life. If we thank him for the good things and focus more on that...good things will start to grow and multiply. Whatever you give the most attention to in your life will grow. So if we can just focus on the positives...you will start to see more positive things in your life."
With that we say a prayer in which, I list even more positive things that are happening in his life. At first he is laying back on his pillow...very nonchalant. By the middle of the prayer, he puts his hands together and puts his head down graciously. He hears this long list of positives in his life and I believe it hits him that he does have much to be thankful for.
I kiss him good night...tell him I love him. For once I leave his room feeling positive energy. It's amazing what can happen when you redirect the child into a positive direction instead of rolling your eyes up into heaven thinking...GIVE ME A BREAK!
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