Right about now, your child is in his bedroom screaming. He is banging on the door. He's opening it and slamming it repeatedly. You hear him, and you try to remain calm.
He slaps his fists on the wall, throws a nerf football into the closet, scattering hangers and knocking half his clothes onto the floor. He rips the sheets off his mattress, dumps two gallons of Lego blocks onto the cat in the hallway. You want to grab a belt and tie him to the stairwell banister. Maybe have a medieval execution, burn him at the stake. How splendid!
But wait... Stop. Before the screaming and the crying and the self-pity threaten to ruin your otherwise pleasant day, maybe you should pick up the telephone, call your parent(s), and apologize. Don't be mad at the kid. Don't whisper obscenities at him or remind him how big a pain in the rear he might be. Just call your mom or dad and say you're sorry. It's all you need to do.
Because, once upon a time, you were a kid, too, and you did the exact same thing. We all did.
Well, maybe not the Legos on the cat. That was a stroke of genius.
This post was originally shared on my at-home parenting blog, The Daily Writer, which has long since vanished. I’ve migrated many of the posts to this site for sentimental reasons.