Hi Dr. Laura:
My 12-year-old son recently decided he wasn't going to listen to me and started being very mean. I was surprised at this because I haven't had many problems with him in the past. He was so mad at me that he was staying out in our truck and not coming into the house! I told my husband what was going on, and after that I got to sit back and watch the show.
My husband got our son out of the truck and was told to get his winter weather gear on. Then my husband had him dig a trench in the snow for easy access to our shed. Our boy whined and cried at first, but then sucked it up and finished the task. My husband never lost his temper and stayed perfectly calm the entire time. After the snow was removed, my husband asked if our son understood why he was given this task. Our boy didn't totally understand why, but did admit he had been wrong to behave in the manner he did.
My husband said he was literally digging a hole, because he had dug quite a hole in talking to me that way. My husband said "no one talks to my wife that way, and I don't care WHO it is." After all this, my son came to me, wrapped his arms around me and apologized for how he had acted and had treated me. My husband is the best dad I could have asked for to raise our two boys into men. Thank you for helping all of us understand the importance of making sure we keep these types of men and make them feel appreciated and loved.
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