It’s been a big week in the home of the men-children. Perhaps something had been bubbling along beneath the surface, waiting to explode, just like the head of a giant teenage pimple. What started out as a simple argumentative exchange across the dinner table (over absolutely nothing of course) escalated into an all in brawl upstairs and some pretty hideous outcomes for both of them. It was so bad, even Sister of a Man-Child was upset and crying over the fracas upstairs. When time passes I might be able to share the exact details, but suffice to say we were still dealing with the fallout the following day and into the next night.
I went to work completely exhausted, feeling like I had done ten rounds with Rocky Balboa myself. Father of a Man-Child and I managed to debrief during the day, and both planned our individual approaches to dealing with the event. He, a much more calm influence, was happy to talk to the boys about what happened and how to avoid future incidents. Me, a little more intense, and prone to getting excited (okay, read yelling), decided to take the other approach, penning a letter to the boys that day and hand delivering it to them both before dinner. I think sometimes it’s better for them to read something, reflect, and re-read it if need be.
We spent a fairly tense night with continued discussions (arguments) about their behaviour, the causes behind it, our expectations of their future behaviour, and negotiations about the damage and what we would cover (absolutely zero by the way – they break it, they pay for it). I ended the night even more drained, with a quick text to them both: “Goodnight boys. Tomorrow is a new day. Let’s make a fresh start. You have two parents and a sister who love you both and just want a happy family at home. xo.”
Sister of a Man-Child subsequently told me that she had wanted to hug both the boys after being so upset. I agreed with her sentiment completely. So we did exactly that the next day! We gave them both a huge, big hug each. We didn’t say anything, because we didn’t need to. They knew we were saying to them it’s all okay, it’s all in the past, it’s all forgiven, and we love you. Do you know how good it felt to hug my bigger than me, gorgeous boys? I hope it felt as good for them as it did for us. And I think we should do more of it. The human connection that comes with a physical hug, the reminder of your family’s unconditional love and the sense of security that touch communicates is pretty powerful. For whatever reason, I hug my daughter every day when I head off to work, and sitting on the couch at weekends, but as our teenagers grow up, that seems to diminish (I suppose understandably).
So, I am planning to hug my boys more often. And maybe I can use it as my new secret weapon to diffuse future fights and arguments. Don’t yell, just hug them into submission!! 🙂
Do you have teenage boys or did you have teenage brothers? Did they fight physically? Tell me mine are normal (if a little extreme)!
PS. That is NOT a picture of my men-children!