Eight-year-old Ryan is having a hard day. Several things he has wanted to do haven't happened. Now a thunderstorm has wiped out playing with his friends outside. He is grumpy. Mom says this to him: "Ryan, I need your help right now in getting ready for company tonight. Would you watch your sisters for me?"
"This isn't fair. All day things have not been fair. And now you want me to watch Sarah and Michelle? How is that fair? Can’t I have a break?"
Ryan is really troubled. Instead of forcing the issue in a way that would certainly lead to discipline, mom calls Ryan over to the couch to sit with her. (Parenting is not an automated routine. In another instance, pursuing direct discipline might have been appropriate. Here mom is exercising wisdom as to how to best help eight-year-old Ryan where he is right now.)
"Ryan, It is has been a hard day, huh?"
"I guess so."
"Let me see, school didn't go well, you don't feel great, your favorite basketball team lost last night, the storm kept you from going outside, and now I want you to watch your sisters. Is that some of what you think is making things unfair?"
"Yeah and Sean hasn't wanted to talk much recently."
[Read the rest of the article at Shepherd Press.]