On the way into the house, my son asked me if he could play the Wii game. I told him that it's almost time for bed. If he could hurry and use the restroom and get his pajamas on, he might be able to play a little bit. I guess it was not the answer he wanted to hear.
As he walked in the door he ever so slightly pushed the door so it almost closed on me. He kept walking and did not turn around to check if the door actually closed on me. I wasn't sure, but I thought he almost tried to shut the door on me on purpose! I have never seen this behavior before! The behavior was slight, it's the attitude behind the behavior that concerned me.
To avoid encouraging a lie, I asked in a curious joking tone that showed I was not mad, "Did you push the door closed on me?" He barely turned around and grinned as if he was proud of it. I started in softly, "Honey,..." Before I could say anything more he said, "Sorry," in a half- hearted, goofy way as he shut the bathroom door.
After he was ready, he called to me. I walked over and started to say, "Honey, I still don't feel good about..." Before I could explain how shutting the door on me hurt my feelings, he said, "Sorry, Mom. Sorry." This time his apology felt sincere. I thanked him for apologizing to me. To prove his sincerity and gratefulness, he surprise hugged me. We laughed. I think he was grateful I did not get mad at him or lecture him.
I am trying to teach him to have empathy for everyone's feelings, including mine. Emotion Coaching is making it easier to teach about feelings. I did not have to say much at all. My dignity was preserved. That disrespectful attitude was nipped in the bud, so to speak. We quickly made up. Hopefully he learned that in the future, that attitude will not go unnoticed or unaddressed. His dignity was preserved and our relationship is still good.
Thanks for listening!