Lessons from Burping (Humor, Creative thinking, Resolving conflict, Handling teasing)

On the way home from picking her up from school, I was feeling a bit silly – speaking in odd accents to her, making various sounds, including a glorious Daddy Level 7 burp. She interrupted…

Her – “You know today during snack, I did a (makes long burp sound) next to a kid.”

Me – “What did the kid say?”

Her – “Ooh, gross!”

Daddy chuckle.

Me – “Hmmm… what did you tell him?”

Her – “My Daddy taught me that.”

I laughed. Oh, great! Well, it is a good way to pass the blame. And, I guess I can’t disagree, though, she has gone on with her normal determination to turn it into an art form that would make world-class belchers envious.

Me – “That was a good answer – and true. You know, if someone teases you, if you shrink down and show that it affected you, it gives them power. But if you just go with it or play with their teasing comment, it takes the power in it away.”

Her – “I didn’t feel that way.” (small and badly)

Me – “Good. But if you did, you could have said, “Ooh, you think that’s gross? Watch this?” and then smelled it. Or you could have moved your face forward and pretended to fan the burp air on you saying, “Actually, it’s really great for your skin!” and then laughed. It probably would make the other person laugh, too.

That was the end of our discussion.

Granted, using burps as a teachable moment is probably not going to win me a parenting trophy, but, what can I say, I’m a fan of creative thinking.

If I may…

When I was 15 years old or so another kid at school threatened me. He thought I had made a move on his girlfriend, which I hadn’t. In the hallway in between classes, which was packed with kids, he confronted me loudly, ready to fight. I was no fighter and did not know what to do to defend myself except to think creatively, quickly. So, as a crowd gathered around, I edged up to him and then very dramatically said, “OH MY GOSH, YOUR BREATH IS DISGUSTING!” I then started to wave my arms as though the smell was ending my existence. The people around us started laughing, and he shrunk away in embarrassment and never bothered me again.

Hopefully, she doesn’t get teased much in her life. But… if she will be quick to the draw… with creative thinking to diffuse or transform the situation.

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