Boys Don’t Cry… To Get What They Want From Daddy

2 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

I mentioned yesterday how logic is beginning to play a more important role in your life. This doesn’t just apply to how you play with your toys.

It also has to do with learning which strategies work to get what you want from me.

Whether it’s a certain snack, or toy, or route home from school, you are learning that shouting and crying no longer work on me.

I have learned that you understand me when I tell you there’s a better (and easier) way to get what you want.

There’s no getting away with pretending you don’t speak the language. You totally understand what I’m saying now. And if you didn’t, you would make it clear to me.

Yesterday on the way home, you screamed, “Bridge! I want to go over the bridge! Turn right! Bridge.

I spelled it out for you:

“Jack, if you want something from Daddy, you’ll need to ask please first, and not be crying when you ask for it. You’ll need to stop crying right now before it’s too late for me to cross the bridge. Otherwise, I’m going to turn left because it’s the quicker way home.”

You only hesitated for a second, as you realized your way wasn’t going to get you the results you were hoping for.

Like magic, the crying stopped and you asked please. We crossed the bridge, both literally and metaphorically.

(It’s funny how it’s sort of hard to use the word “please” when you’re screaming at someone, anyway.)

You knew from past experiences (and experiments) with me that when I say I’m going to do something, or not do it, I’m holding true to my word.

Had you not stopped crying, and not asked please, I wouldn’t have driven home the way you wanted. Perhaps that would have meant you would have cried and been upset the whole hour drive home.

Lucky for both of us, you learned the importance of how Daddy operates. With Daddy, there’s always a formula.

Get what you want by following the formula.

I’m about as stubborn as a computer, which doesn’t cave based on emotional responses. And I imagine, you will learn to become just as stubborn as I am, like that.





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