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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

One of the posts that has gotten the most attention ever on this blog is 8 Ways to Tease a Boy Out of a Bad Mood. A few days ago, commenter Taariq made this point:

I wonder if this doesn’t teach him to suppress his real feelings and emotions.
Bad moods, like good moods, come and go quite naturally.
So maybe we can learn and pass on to our kids that like all else, “This too shall pass”.

My first reaction was “Wow, I hadn’t thought about that before.” Which led to an interesting train of thought that I’m going share with you, Internets. Hubby has to listen to me enough already. 😉

I am completely fine with boys having bad moods and tell them so regularly. I don’t believe that any emotion is “good” or “bad”. Anger is not good or bad on its own. Rather, what you do when you’re angry is important and it is right for people to be held responsible for their behavior when angry.

There are two reasons why I work to get boys out of bad moods.

      1. To give them some tools they can use on their own

2. To help them get “unstuck” from a bad mood.

It’s sad to watch the boys sabotage their own day because they’ve taken the “I’m angry” stand and don’t know how to retreat. Heck, I get stuck in moods sometimes and even though I want to cheer up it’s very difficult without some outside help. Hubby, by the way, can be merciless when it comes to this – he’ll tease until you laugh so you may as well join him and make the first joke. Yes, that can be mighty irritating at the time, but I’ve come to believe that sacrificing my pride to return to balance and contentment is a worthwhile exchange.

Early in our marriage I found myself repeatedly confronted with the choice to joke or pout. Joking seemed like a classier way of handling things (I’ll admit that early jokes were quite pointed), and from there I learned not to take life so seriously.

As a dyed-in-the-wool Type A very…ummmm “structured” personality, learning to be flexible in my outlook has been a long and difficult process. I hope to spare my boys some of that difficulty by teaching them young to laugh. I’ve got a long way to go, but I do like me now much better than the person I was 13 years ago. So that’s why we tease the boys when they’re in bad moods. 🙂

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to help boys be cheerful.

Image courtesy of Myrrien via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.