The other day John got mad at me and Maia. We've been talking a lot about being appropriately angry -- you can be angry, and speak strongly, but you cannot yell or be disrespectful. This is actually harder than it sounds, because I tend to get sarcastic when I'm mad, and that's not terribly respectful, and John has picked up some of my angry sarcasm. So we're both working on that.
In any case, the other day he was so mad he went down to his room to (I thought) cool off. This was fine. I was in the bathroom when I heard him come back up and then Maia lost it, saying, "John, what are you doing? What? What are you doing? JOHN!" And then tears.
I came out and tried to figure out what was going on. Apparently John had gone down to his room, drawn a picture of me and Maia, then came upstairs and tore it up and threw it in the kitchen trash.
"I read about it somewhere as something to do when you're angry!" he said loudly, stricken, when I expressed a little bit of shock. "I was trying to deal with being angry in an OK way!"
I took a breath and tried not to feel like he was trying to work some voodoo on me, or something. "You know, you're right," I said. "It's better than yelling at someone. But, next time," and I grasped his arm to make the point, "maybe you could do it not in front of the person you're tearing up and throwing away!"