Had a discussion with Jonathon today about why he was feeling miserable. He has his mother's tendency to go from the top of the mountain to the bottom of a pit in less than 60 seconds on the emotional roller coaster and at this moment he was near the bottom of the pit.
We talked about how he wasn't having any fun- mostly because other people wanted to play with this things and he didn't want them to and so he was spending so much of his time hoarding, protecting, and fighting about whether things were his or not that he wasn't able to enjoy doing anything.
As usual I found that our subsequent discussion was good advice for young and old alike. In fact, it's amazing how often I get preached to in the conversations I have with my children.
Another side note is that I've been working on drawing out Biblical conclusions from him rather than lecturing them at him and that seems to be helpful in our talks. I wish I did it more often. Remembering is helpful.
Anyway, we finally landed on the possibility that he would be happier if he spent more time helping others be happy and less time hoarding and saving. We discussed wisdom- knowing that it's ok to keep a few nice things from a person that he knows will just destroy it. And we discussed generosity being something voluntary with personal property.
Most things in our house are "owned" by someone. The buck stops with them. We don't have tons of group toys. From time to time we have even assigned things to different kids even if it wasn't all theirs- like the box of generic cars or blocks. This way someone is responsible. But it also means that it's theirs and they can share or not.
I found it interesting that Jonathon honestly said he really didn't feel like sharing very often and that he was waiting until he felt like sharing to do so. That led in to a good talk on emotion versus choice- I can choose to share even if I feel differently. After our discussion I left him to think and later he came to play again.
I didn't really have any more trouble with him fighting today. That was a relief, but more importantly, tonight as he was helping Renna dress for bed and entertaining her with his Playmobil Dragon, he said, "You know Mama, you were right. I do have more fun helping others have a good time."
And that, my friends, makes even the most miserable day immediately glorious! Not that today was miserable- it wasn't, but that was a treasure.
Among other things, today I had some quality time with my brother, Frank. He's up visiting and it's nice to have a good long while to talk about all sorts of stuff. Conversations take a different turn after the first 24-48 hours. Some more casual, some more serious and a nice balance of the two.
Well, it's that time again- the moment when I get to tuck in all my precious energy balls for the night. Better go set them to recharge!