After a weekend together, my husband and I were putting our kids to bed. The lights were out, but my 5-year-old was not settled; he was making a raspberry noise. This annoyed his brother, my 9-year-old, who shouted, “Be quiet! Stop that noise!”
We tried, “your brother is asking you, please stop.” But nothing seemed to stop our younger son’s noise making or our older son’s annoyed shouting.
The little brother’s noise sounded like passing gas.
I wasn’t sure what to do. I wondered if it was time to turn on the light and set a limit, but I decided to take a playful approach instead, hoping to bring laughter, bring our sons together, and make them more relaxed.
I said slowly, “That noise… makes me imagine… a sea lion… passing gas!” All of a sudden, the annoyed big brother stopped bickering and laughed. The younger brother also stopped making noise and laughed. They thought this was hilarious.
So I continued, “I am imagining…. a humming bird…. toot!” There was more laughter. And we laughed about different animals’ flatulence for a few minutes. The mood quickly changed from heavy to light and the brothers were laughing together.
Soon, after about seven or eight animals, I stopped as it was getting late. I said, “It’s time to sleep, let’s be quiet and sleep.”
The 5-year-old made raspberry sounds a couple of more times, but the big brother didn’t get annoyed this time. Gradually they both became quiet, and within a couple of minutes, they were fast asleep.
—Keiko Sato-Perry, Certified Parenting by Connection Instructor
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