The Mercenary hugged me today. In fact, he’s done it twice in the past few days.
I don’t mean the expected hugs like the ones we get at bedtime. He actually walked over to me and put his arms around my shoulders and hung on me for a few minutes. When I reached around and squeezed his middle, he squeezed me back. How cool is that??
He’s 12, by the way.
He hasn’t been volunteering hugs much lately. Even the bedtime hugs have been rather perfunctory.
I’ve been working super hard lately at being more positive, especially with the boys. The concept is simple really: listen to chatter and respond, praise successes, and handle problems with an calm exterior.
If it’s just a case of correcting a mistake or even dealing with actual disobedience, maintaining my desired parental behavior is pretty easy. When things get heated between the boys and arguments swell up and tempers flare faster than I can get anyone’s attention, then it’s a lot harder to not get frustrated.
The realization that it’s easier to switch from a correcting tone to a praising one with the dog than the boys was a sobering moment. In my defense, I can talk to the dog the way I would with a two-year-old child. If I did that with the boys they’d be offended. And yes, I know this after performing an experiment to find out, purely for scientific research; no humor was involved
Both Hubby and I have been trying to show the boys that we’re treating them with the respect we want to see in return. As the older ones move closer and closer to adulthood I think they’re starting to see how much we truly do enjoy them. It’s nice to feel like we’re on the right track for now.
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Photo graciously provided by horizontal.integration , through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved