Since he was a toddler, my son has had a quick temper, and has always wanted to have the last word. At age 4, we put him and his older sister in Tae Kwon Do, which taught me something about parenting.
Instead of “time-outs,” I started demanding push-ups when he’d get mouthy with me, just like the masters did. I didn’t care where we were, it was “give me ten push-ups right now!” If he continued to backtalk or didn’t move fast enough, he’d have to do twenty! I got lots of smiles from parents in public places.
It was interesting to watch how the physical exertion diffused my son’s anger. By the last few push-ups, he’d always be laughing at his own exhaustion, and the crisis would be over.
He’s twelve now and has the shoulders and upper arms of a body builder. He says it’s a good thing he was such a brat, because now he’s totally buff, can do ten chin-ups without breaking a sweat, and the girls think he’s awesome. He even has asked me to assign abdominal curls now if he has a fit of temper, as he still has a layer of baby fat around his tummy and he’d like to develop a “six-pack.” That’s my boy!
Physical Exertion Diffused My Son’s Anger
The Dr. Laura Call of the Day Podcast