Isn't it funny how something so simple like saying "Don't kick the soccer ball inside" can turn into a 20 then 30 then 40 minute meltdown. That's exactly what happened with my five year old who at one point in the argument refused to come into the house. See for yourself.
After Adora finally stormed inside it took everything inside me to suppress my rage and calmly send her to her room. I told her to sit down, cool off and think about what just happened. I admit, if I was in a hurry I probably would have yelled commands at her out of frustration and threatened to take her favorite things away. I mean who has nearly an hour to waste on something like this. Raising my voice would've been the easy thing to do but I'm glad I didn't.
After about 10 minutes my 3 year old son came up to me and said his sister wanted to see me. I walked into her bedroom and with her head hung low she mumbled "I'm sorry." I believed her. I got down on the floor and lifted her head so that we could be eye to eye... this way I wasn't towering over her but rather talking directly with her. She went on to explain why she was sorry and we then discussed the reasons kicking the ball inside wasn't the greatest idea.
Honestly, by the end of it all I was depleted but really felt a true connection was made. So many times our tiffs have ended cold with "because I said so" or "because I'm the parent". I know that this will still happen but I also know as a parent it's up to me to choose teachable moments even when my own patience is being tested.
With my 5 year old going on 15 I know this is just the beginning, at least that's what EVERYONE on Facebook tells me. But hey, maybe I also have the next Mia Hamm. After seeing the video online my girlfriend Sara Walsh of ESPN joked, "I kinda appreciate how much she wants to play soccer!!"
Secretly... I do too :)