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Don’t Lose It, Diffuse It!

Written by Dan Seaborn on . Posted in Local

dan seabornI remember one night when my wife and I were driving and she shared with me something that was going on at the time with our teenage daughter. As I listened to the story, I could feel my blood pressure, which had just been checked during my annual physical, shoot through the roof. I could hear my heartbeat echoing in my head, and I could feel it pulsating in my neck.

I walked in the house with my fuse lit. I proceeded to make my way to the place where I thought I would find my daughter. Upon seeing her, I immediately starting sharing my thoughts and concerns about this incident, speaking to her in a volume that was way too high, with my words coming so quickly there was barely time to take a breath.

The look on her face was one of shock and awe. I know she was probably unsure where this rant originated and what was going on. She might have even wondered what the heck I was talking about. I obviously blew this one out of the water! And though she tried to interject a couple of thoughts, I was too intent on finishing the fifteen-minute ramble of my own Constitution. I continued until all my points, which I thought were valid, were heard loud and clear.

As I look back on it, I probably resembled the Tasmanian devil from the old Looney Tunes cartoon shows. Tearing through the air, the Taz, as he was affectionately known, would rip through an area, stir up a bunch of dust and dirt, plow down everything in its path and then disappear before anyone would realize what had happened. I'm sure my daughter would attest to this description.

Thirty minutes after it all began, I heard myself saying to her, "I really gotta not get so worked up over issues so quickly."

Yeah, it's a tendency of mine. I write this as a confessional because I want you to know that even though I run an organization called Winning At Home, I don't always win at home. I try and learn from my mistakes, though, so at the end of the day, I can say I've won even through a loss.

Sometimes it is during the toughest moments that we learn the most about ourselves. I want you to know that my daughter and I sat down together as soon as everything was over. We shared dinner together and had a wonderful talk, partly because I could say, "Sorry I lost it there".

I think the key to having a good family life is for those with short fuse tendencies or know-it-all attitudes to admit when they are wrong. Not an easy feat for either type. But if you can, I think humbleness is a great lesson to teach your children.

What is ironic about this particular incident is that the daughter I'm talking about is a lot like her dad. I'm hoping that as she watches me sometimes struggle and confess, that she will learn from my mistakes and recognize that those are the things she should be doing too. Perhaps by the time she reaches my age, she'll be diffusing situations more quickly than I do.

I offer this challenge to you. If your fuse lights too quick, consider how you might snuff it out before the flame gets too hot. When you struggle and happen to burn someone you love, learn how to say you are sorry.
Author Information
Dan Seaborn
Dan Seaborn is the founder of Winning At Home, Inc., an organization designed to assist and encourage people of all ages and stages of family development. As a featured speaker at churches and large-scale events such as marriage conferences, corporate functions, and university assemblies, Dan Seaborn has earned recognition as a powerful and passionate communicator. Through practical illustrations and memorable real-life examples, he encourages individuals and families to lead Christ-centered homes.

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