Years ago, Mom and Buried and I learned a parenting lesson we’d never forget: keep calm and parent on!
A woman and her son were walking around Fenway Park, the little boy happily toting a Red Sox balloon. All of a sudden, the balloon popped. We steeled ourselves for a meltdown. But his quick-thinking mother defused the situation.
She responded immediately with a wide smile and a big laugh, brightly exclaiming, “Your balloon popped! Who cares, right?” In no time, her son was laughing along with her. She’d thwarted his natural inclination towards getting upset by treating the whole thing as no big deal. When he saw that Mommy didn’t care, suddenly neither did he.
Even without kids, I knew it was a brilliant move. Years later, with a two-year-old of my own, her underreaction seems just as brilliant, even more essential, and a lot harder than it looked.
Read more about The Art of the Underreaction …