I’ve been struggling with my 11 year-old son’s outburst and tantrums for some time. Many incidents erupted with him screaming, “I hate this place”, “I hate you”, “nobody loves me”, and “I’m going to run away from home”. One evening he even made it a point to have us catch him climbing out his bedroom window (on the 2nd floor). Many of these incidents were a result of him wanting something or having a run-in with a sibling or a friend. After taking the RCB class, I learned he was having difficulty dealing with his internal negative feelings while I as a parent was focusing too much on the behavior I saw. I learned to remain calm (detach) through these recurring storms and give him a G.E.M. (Genuine Encounter Moment). Then I would make it a point to sit and talk with him sometime after the incident, when things were going well between us, and help him express what he was feeling at the time. I explained we are human and feel these awful things from time to time, and it was OK to feel this way. Then we talked about the self-quieting space in his room, a place for us to go when these feelings come about.
Then it happened…one Friday night. He demanded I take him to the roller rink because his friends were going to be there. I told him I wasn’t willing to drive across town so late in the evening. I told him I’d be willing to discuss maybe letting him go next Friday night if we could find ways for him to earn the money to go. He began to get very upset and I tried to give him a G.E.M. Instead he stormed off to his room declaring, “I’m going to my room to feel bad, if anyone is looking for me”. He emerged about an hour later apologizing for his rage and asked if we could talk about next Friday night. Even though he took himself to his self quieting space to cool off, the real success came when he offered to rub my shoulders as his “make-up”!!!
Bill Corbett , Instructor & Dad