Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Boys Work It Out Themselves

I want to share an experience from yesterday. One of Josh's neighbor friends was over and they were in his room. Friend came out looking upset, paused at the door to leave, but then came to talk to me.

Friend- Josh has been playing his Wii all week and isn't playing with me.
Me- It looks like that upsets you.
Friend- Yeah......
Me- Did you come tell me because you want me to help you talk to him?
Friend- Yes.

So we went into Josh's room to get a conversation going.

Me- Friend, how about you tell Josh how you're feeling.
Friend- You've been playing Wii for a week now and not playing with your friends.
Me- Well, that sounds more like what Josh is doing. Can you tell him how you're feeling? Try starting your sentence with "I".
Friend- I want to play with you but I don't want to play Wii. I've been inside for 7 hours and I want to go outside. It makes me feel sad that you don't want to play with me.
Me- Josh did you hear what he said?
Josh- Yes.
Me- So how about you tell him how you're feeling.
Josh- Well, I want to play with you too, but I didn't get much sleep last night so I want to stay inside.
Me- Okay. Friend, if you got to pick what to do, what would you choose?
Friend- Going outside to play football.
Me- And Josh, if you got to pick what to do, what would you choose?
Josh- Staying inside. Maybe we could play legos.
Me- Alright, you both chose different things. You'll need to come to a compromise. Friend, what is your first counter-offer?

This went back and forth for a while, with many creative ideas thrown out there, but Friend insisted on being outside while Josh insisted on being inside. I had a feeling my being in the room was hindering their discussion.

Me- Well guys, you may just be at an impasse. You may want to consider playing separately today and trying again tomorrow. Either way, I think you've got the hang of this, so I'll leave you to finish up.

I went into the kitchen and 10 minutes later they came running out to tell me they came to an agreement. They were SO proud of themselves.

Josh- Mom! We're going outside!
Friend- Yeah! Josh wanted to play video games, and I wanted to play outside, so we came up with playing tag as video game characters.
Josh- Yeah, and we'll have powers.
Me- Alright! You two have fun!

Josh didn't grow up with a good example from us. He's only had one for the last year or so, and we're still learning ourselves. Friend comes from a family much like ours used to be. I am so incredibly proud of them for taking the format of respectful dialogue and resolving their issue themselves.

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