Story #2: Accepted Emotions During Conflict? Everything Changes

Let’s tune in to Becky’s thoughts and find out what she learned about emotions and behavior.

I didn’t know when I yelled or argued that I had emotions causing it all.

I got to the point of always yelling at mom when she told me to get off my computer and quit playing Fortnite. And it always happened when I was making the best move ever. I’ve never had so much fun!

Mom’s face gets this super mean look and she yells at me about never obeying and how the computer was ruining the family’s life and I always lost it – yelling and calling her names. After I finally got off the computer, I always lost computer privileges for several days. I really felt bad for what I said and promised myself I’d quit next time, but the same thing happened over and over.

I really thought there was something wrong about me. And mom wouldn’t talk with me for several hours afterwards. I felt like someone dumped me on a road like people trying to get rid of a dog. Really scared me (fear causes disconnect).

Oh, in the last Fortnite competition, I got 1st out of 200 players. For the first time in my life I really felt successful—well most of the time. There’s no way I was going to give it up!

Then one day mom did the weirdest thing. She asked to talk with me. Her face was calm, and her voice was nice (love causes connection). She said, “I realized Fortnite is about the best thing that ever happened to you. Is that right? Tell me what you love about it.”

I was thinking, “Weird, no one has ever asked me this question. Everyone’s been so mad at me.” Then I just told her what I liked. What was really crazy is she was smiling and nodding while I talked. I felt funny inside, almost a tickling feeling, hard to describe.

Then she said something even crazier. “Let’s find a way you can play so we don’t get mad and yell at each other. It’s the anger that causes the yelling and arguing. Now I can see why you get so mad at me. I’d be mad too. It would be like Dad stopping me from eating ice cream. That will never happen!

We both laughed. Mom does enjoy ice cream, especially cookies and cream. And that stuff about anger causing yelling kinda makes sense. Can’t believe it’s just natural and not me being messed up. She said she’d like to watch me play it. Now that was really weird.

Then she asked me what would work for stopping the game. I finally came up with the idea of a timer set for ten minutes to turn off the computer. She agreed. And if I didn’t quit after ten minutes, mom would turn off the computer and I couldn’t use the computer for twenty-four hours.

Mom gave me a hug and left. I sat there feeling funny inside. Like how’s it possible to talk with mom about Fortnite and I wasn’t yelling and arguing? I didn’t even know what it felt like. I’d never felt it before. No, I’ll take that back. I felt it when everyone clapped at school when I got second place in the spelling bee. Kinda a fun feeling — way better then yelling, which now I just found out was from anger. That was normal? Whatever!

Later that day Mom did watch me play and asked me all kinds of questions. Felt funny inside again. Didn’t know what to say or do. Oh well. Then we did the shutting off the computer thing in ten minutes. It was really rough to do, but it worked, and mom never had that angry face and yelling, so that really helped. After a couple of times it got easier and we don’t have a problem any more.

You have just witnessed the revolutionary parenting approach Love Infusing Fear – Therapy (LIFT). Through a child’s eyes, acceptance of emotion is love personalized, the richest gift you can give your child.