The other day, I was in the position to just sit and watch an interaction between one of my boys, who was feeling angry at the world, and #7. Wow, did I learn a lot from those few moments!
#7 walked into the room, and the brother, just feeling ornery, said, "Shut up, [#7]!" She had nothing to do with the trouble this brother was in. He was just plain angry (Why is it so much easier to be angry at the world than it is to be angry at yourself?). Well, these words aren't allowed in our house, but the child was already in so much trouble that I decided that this was one battle we weren't going use for further fuel on what already existed. He said it again and again. She continued to walk toward him.
Awhile later, the boy child was becoming sad because of the predicament he'd caused himself because of his poor choices--basically being in a time out in his room. #7 entered again. He started saying mean things to her...again. She just walked toward him completely unphased and took her fingers and ran them through the front part of his hair. As she did so, she smiled at him and then laughed. She stopped, picked up his stuffed bear from off the floor...again, and handed it to him as if it was hugging him.
She turned and walked out.
This time, there was no doubt the message was received. He grabbed the bear, hugged it tightly and cried, wailing, "Oh [#7], I LOVE YOU!!! I'm sorry! I'm so sorry!"
This was what ran through my mind at that moment. So grateful for the lessons my children teach me.