Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Power of 100

This all just came together so beautifully. The other day I was cooking dinner, and Pie was whining and demanding I do something right now. "How much I count to?" he asked after I told him I'd help him in five minutes. "Oh, about 100," I replied in exasperation, just wanting to get some food on the table before one of us had a meltdown.

As he started counting into the high 20s, I realized he probably wouldn't remember what came after 29, so I started to count with him: "30...31...32...33...34..." until we made it all the way to 100. And I realized, I was calmer. Calmer because of the joy I felt in seeing my little guy exercising his giant brain (as Daddy likes to say), and calmer because I had successfully shifted my focus to something other than my frazzled nerves.

I've been trying for years to figure out ways to diffuse my ragged emotions in the split second between "last straw" and "screaming banshee." It usually happens so fast, and the standard calming technique of counting to 10 just always seemed to stupid and hokey to make me actually try it more than once. But that's the thing: I guess for my temper, 10 might not be enough to work. My wits might be so far gone that I, personally, need to go all the way to 100.

You know what? Even though it might make me sound like a complete nutcase, I don't care. I found a strategy that kept me from yelling, was educational for my son, and brought us closer together. Score!

(Read more about my ongoing struggle with anger management here: Getting Advice from the Airlines.) 

and then, she {snapped}


  1. i love this post. You are so right, sometimes ten isn't enough for me either. Its so funny that I wrote a post about the ten count and you wrote the 100. I recon yours is more realistic.
    Thanks so much for linking this to the Sunday Parenting Party. I'm sharing on our pinterest board

  2. I'm featuring this post on the Sunday Parenting Party this Sunday. I'm letting you know now because I'll be on holiday. Please grab an I was featured button from my button page if you'd like one.

  3. Thanks! I will get the button NOW while the boys are sleeping. Enjoy your vacation! :)

    1. (Me again...I'll update the button link on Sunday.)

  4. I'm also featuring this post on the Sunday Parenting Party tomorrow. I know I featured you last week, but you do great stuff :). Come on by and check it out!

  5. So true!

    I would love for you to link it - and your other positive parenting posts - up at Empty Your Archive link party - there is a special focus this week on positive behaviour, Alice @ Mums Make Lists x