Friday, June 10, 2011

Handling the obnoxiously stubborn

While visiting family, our 20 month-old grandson got locked in the bathroom.

The door knob did not have any visible way to unlock it from the outside.  So, Jerry started taking it off.  I reminded him that the last time we tried to open a door by taking off the door knob, it didn't work.  He kept on taking off the screws.  I suggested that we call the fire department. 

He kept taking off the screws.  The baby was howling.  Our daughter-in-law called our son at work.  I brought up the fire department again.  Jerry kept taking off the screws.  It all seemed so simple to me- 

                Call the fire department!

A minute later the baby walked into the kitchen.  Humbly I said to Jerry, "It must be annoying to be married to me."  He very gently said, "Once in awhile, I just have to ignore you.  Sometimes it is the kindest thing you can do for someone."

When our kids were young, I listened to a parenting lecture that drove home the point, "Behavior that gets attention, gets repeated."  I have used that technique lots of times.  I remember stepping over a four-year old throwing a tantrum at my feet and walking into the next room.  It didn't take long for him to come find me, have a little chat, and get a big hug.  This method is non-confrontational, keeps you from being the "bad guy," and works pretty fast.

But, I never knew that my husband was using this behavior modification on ME.  I hope it's working.  I did get a big hug.

1 comment:

Kelli said...

I am grateful to both of you! Love you.