Boy about 7 years old to Mom's boyfriend.
"No! You're not the boss of me!! You're not my dad!"
Boyfriend to boy, "Ah you want to play that game do you?"
"You know...you are absolutely right! I am not your dad! But if you want to get a cookie, a ride home and your dinner tonight, you better learn fast who's boss right now!"
Boy sulks, "I want my Mommy!"
Boyfriend, sighs deeply and reframes his approach.
"Well, she's not here right now...it's just you and me getting coffee and treats for her."
"You can chose to be a spoiled little brat or a cool dude and hold the bag of cookies for me."
Well? "What do you want to be? A spoiled little brat? Or a cool dude?"
Boy sheepishly says..."A cool dude."
What was that I didn't hear you?
Boy, "A Cool Dude!!!"
Boyfriend, "No that's not good enough...You've got to put some "Dude" in your voice and some swagger when you say it."
Boyfriend has now turned it into a game and lays down some swagger for the boy to emulate.
"Now you try..."I'm a Cool Dude!"
Boy gets all giddy and lays down the cutest mojo as he now proclaims, "I'm A Cool Dude!"
Boyfriend, "All right! My man!! Give me five up high for the Cool Dude!!
The boy jumps excitedly to slap the boyfriend's hand.
As they are about to leave they pass my table. We do the "guy nod" as he knows I witnessed his interaction.
I tell him, "Well played."
He says shaking his head, "Man this is tough...I'm not sure if I'm cut out for this."
Me, "From what I heard...you're so meant to be in his life." He needs a hero to look up to."
His eyes well up.
I tell him about The Remarkable Man Project and invite him out to next week's RMP as he totally gets what it means to be a hero in a boy's life.
As they leave the boy is now totally stoked and he skips all the way out the door to the car.
Total state change.
It takes courage, patience, creativity and the WILL to be in a relationship with "Her" children. However, if you hang in there the rewards are incredible.
Children, especially boys of single moms, desperately need heroes in their lives.
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