This morning a perfect opportunity opened up for us to rehash this discussion, which was a good thing. I hadn’t felt that I had really gotten through to him in our previous discussion and had been hoping for a chance to broach the subject again in an organic way, so as not to alert his brain that he was being lectured. He’s a smart kid and if he gets the impression that he’s in trouble, then he will shut down and just say what he thinks I want to hear.
Side note: Is it even possible to “get through” to a five-year-old boy? Probably not, but I tried anyway and this is how it went.
Luke: Mom, I just feel like I’m going to be on the naughty list forever.
Me: What makes you think you’re on the naughty list?
Luke: Because I use bad words EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Me: Why do you think you need to use bad words when you know all sorts of big, smart words?
Luke: Because they help me talk like I feel when I say them.
Me: Hmmm, I have an idea. Let’s make a list of your bad words and come up with other things you can say that mean the same thing, but sound nicer?
Luke: Oh Mom, you’re talking like an old man.
Me: Okay, instead of saying “stupid” what could you say instead?
Luke: Oooh, I know. I could say, “You’re fired!”
Me: Great! Okay, what about the word “hate?” That’s a really bad one. What could we say instead of that?
Luke: I’m done talking about this. Can I have a snack?
Me: No. Not until we finish. Instead of saying, “I hate this,” what could you say?
Luke: I guess I could just say somefing like, “I don’t want to be here!”
Me: Okay, great. Now let’s do one more. Instead of saying “shut up” what is something else you could say.
Luke: You never got me a snack.
Me: That’s because we aren’t finished. Now, this is the last one. Instead of saying “shut up” you could say…
Luke: Okay. Okay. I could just say, “Hey, I don’t want to talk about this.”
Me: That’s perfect! So next time you get angry instead of using those bad words you can use the nicer words and I will still know how you feel. I’m so proud of you.
I get up and leave the room to get him the snack I had promised when I hear him mumble, “I don’t want to be here. She is SO fired.”
Wait. Was that progress?