I came home in a very good mood. I had a great flight, a good ride on the shuttle, finished a big project I was working on, and was generally just feeling good. That helps. Because the kids were who they typically are all day and evening.
As in most family systems, we have instigators and we have responders. Dominyk is the classic responder to everyone. Tony is also a responder, but is most often an instigator. Rand is a responder, but sometimes and instigator, and Jimmy is an instigator. Ricardo, Wilson, Sadie, and Leon often serve as the bored audience to repetitive behaviors, like arguments about who is most "retardeder." But they can also be tempted to instigate and, once and a while, respond.
So yesterday, everyone bored, and their parents somewhat preoccupied in reconnecting, there was a lot of instigating and a whole lot more responding. But in the midst of it, I found myself fairly calm, which always helps not to amp things up.
You know, it always works better when I pay attention my own advice -- be authentically more calm than your child, don't engage in arguments, focus on relationship rather than behavior, yada yada yada.
But when I do those things, stuff goes better. So maybe my message does make sense. ;-)