My son and his friend were sumo wrestling. I stopped the kicking and the hitting, but I didn't stop their boisterous play-fighting soon enough. My son went aggro on his friend! Growling and screaming he kept lunging at his friend with windmill punches and the intent to do harm. I tried in vain to get him to stop and calm down. As I was restraining my son, explaining the need to stop hitting, I got hit, not hard, but it was with intent. My son looked at me like, "I am mad and I don't care!"
My whole intent was to get my son to calm down, so I couldn't get mad then. Pouring water on his wrestling head helped a little to get them to laugh, but he was still out of control. I did resort to saying something quietly in his ear like, "If you don't stop, you won't be able to play your DS for the rest of the day." That threat got my son to sit down on the couch, but he was still seething and glaring at his friend. I said to the friend, "Come on, I am taking you home." We walked out the door and sat on the porch. I couldn't leave my six year old home alone even for ten minutes and I couldn't have them in sight of each other until my son calmed down. So I explained that we would wait there until my son calmed down. We could hear him screaming, "I HATE ______!!" (friend's name)
After about five minutes, I went in and sat across from my son. Everytime his friend peeked at us, my son screamed at him. I said to my son, "It seems like he did something to you to make you angry because you are really mad." My son was too mad to answer.
I asked, "Do you want me to take him home?" Amazingly my son shook his head, no.
I said, "It seems like you feel the need to do something to get even with him." My son nodded and huffed with crossed arms, "Mmm Hmm!"
I said, "What could you do to him to get even with him?" My son liked the idea of retaliation and sweetly said said, "Kill him?" I tried not to laugh, "That is a little extreme. We have to think of something else."
I called out to the friend and asked if my son could do something to him to get even. They both agreed that squirting him with a water gun would suffice. My son was instantly relieved and excited to squirt his friend. I said, "We need to be sure that you are not angry anymore and you won't hurt him." My son put on his happiest face to prove that he was no longer angry. He gladly hugged his friend. It was an amazing turn-around! In our preparations to go swimming, we even forgot to carry out the retaliation.
I forgot to have the discussion about my son hitting me. I am not worried about it because it has been well over a year since he has gotten that angry and tried to hit anyone. Actually, ever since I have been practising emotion coaching, his occaisional anger has stopped escalating to that point. With emotion coaching, he apologizes quickly for anything that I don't like. He wants to keep our relationship loving and happpy.
We hugged. Once again, an emotional outburst has proven to be an oppurtunity for intimacy and teaching!