Year 5, Day 158

Miles is an argumentative child. I don’t think there’s a scenario that he wouldn’t try to litigate his way around when he’s trying to get his way, and he hasn’t yet developed an understanding of a universal truth all children must learn to grapple with — some things are simply not up for debate.

With all humility, I admit that sometimes this process becomes extraordinarily irritating. I make an attempt to explain the world as it is (say, “No Miles, you CANNOT have ice cream for dinner”) only to be met with a barrage of arguments to the contrary, usually beginning with “Well…” (as in, “Well…MOMMY said I could”). As these interactions drag on, there are moments where I just can’t keep my cool anymore, and it’s when I finally get to the point of saying, “MILES. I NEED YOU TO LISTEN” or “MILES, YOU ARE NOT BEHAVING WELL RIGHT NOW” that he changes his tactics, resorting to something that he’s only just started attempting.

As I move into the “admonishment” stage of our encounter, Miles immediately darts over, throws his arms around me and says, “I love you!”

DAGNABBIT KID!

Does this method result in its desired effect (which, I’m assuming, is that I’ll relent)? No. But I have to hand it to him, it DOES de-escalate the conversation, giving me a chance to bring the tenor back down and continue with a less-authoritarian tone. So on the one hand, I absolutely HATE this strategy of his, because it reeks of “hollow emotional appeal.” On the other…”UGH…yeah, I love you too. But I need you to listen better.”

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