“If you don’t cook me pizza for dinner,
I’m not going to love you anymore.”

This line was delivered to me convincingly last week… by my 5-year-old son. He is usually cuddly and cruisy and all sorts of adorable. But recently he’s starting to experiment with power-dynamics. And he really likes pizza. So he pulled out the biggest gun in his arsenal—the weapon of withholding love.

Because he is five, this didn’t bother me.
I stayed calm. In fact, I had to work hard not to laugh at him.

It’s easy to stay calm when it’s a five-year-old
who’s pulling a power play or trying on emotional blackmail for size. You know
they love you. You know they don’t really mean what they are saying in the
moment. And it’s (usually) easy to come up with a firm, but loving, response
that lets them know that what they just said is not OK.

It’s a different story…

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