Josh (5) had a blowout right before eating. He was asked to set the table after Evan (10) washed it. He said he would rather wash the table so I said, "Okay, come in here and wash it and Evan will set it." Josh replied, "I'm doing something." So I told Evan to go ahead and wash AND set the table. This caused Josh to become totally and utterly destroyed. I sent him to his room and told him he could come eat with us when he was finished crying and screeching. It took a few minutes, but he finally came out, calm, and sat down to eat. After a few minutes, thinking things were pretty much back to normal, I had this exchange with Josh.
Me: I'm very pleased that you were able to come to the table and eat with us. Josh: Well, maybe I'm gonna go right back in there.
I had to laugh. This statement so completely describes how determined and independent he is. It is a strength I lack, and I'm glad to see it. However, I also know how important it is to teach him to control himself, and to focus his strengths only in productive ways. It promises to be a challenge.