Scenario: Andrea’s mom and dad have to go to an appointment. They were going to leave Andrea with a babysitter, but the babysitter canceled, so now Andrea has to go with her parents and wait while they have their appointment. 






  • Andrea’s mom does not engage too much when Andrea is in Yuck.
  • She does not waste energy justifying her parenting decision or trying to make Andrea understand her point of view.
  • Instead, Andrea’s mom just allows Andrea to experience her frustration, knowing that once the feelings come out, Andrea will act responsibly. 


Andrea: I don’t want to go with you!
Mom: What do you want me to do, cancel my appointment?
Andrea: Yes!
Mom: I bet, kiddo. You really want to stay home.
Andrea: Yes! This appointment is stupid.
Mom (laughs): Yeah, we don’t really want to go either. But we have to.
Andrea: Well I DON’T have to. And I won’t.
Mom: What did you want to do instead?
Andrea: Stay home.
Mom: And do what?
Andrea: I’d read, I’d play my new game. I wouldn’t do anything bad.
Mom: That does sound like fun.
Andrea: Yeah. And you’re not letting me.
Mom: I wish I could.
Andrea: So let me stay home!
Mom: I can’t. I know it stinks, but we need to go, and we need to take you.
Andrea: You’re so mean!
Mom doesn’t say anything.
Andrea: You CAN let me stay home. You just don’t want to!
Mom doesn’t say anything.
Andrea: Why are you ignoring me?
Mom: Because I love you too much to make you feel worse when you’re upset. I’ll talk when you’re feeling better.
Andrea: I feel fine! I just don’t want to go with you!
Mom doesn’t say anything.
Andrea grumbles and complains for a few more minutes.
Mom: OK, we’re going, kiddo. And hey, while we’re driving, can you tell me about the game you said you would have played if we left you? I want to hear about it. And maybe I can play with you later?
Andrea sighs and goes with her parents. After few minutes, she starts to talk about the game.   






This situation would not have gone the same way if Andrea’s mom did not proactively…


  • Know how to handle her own Yuck (so that she didn’t get sucked to Andrea’s Yuck)
  • Understand that Andrea’s complaints and insults were her way of dealing with frustration and disappointment 
  • Understand how to handle Andrea’s Yuck by letting her travel the Yuck curve
  • Deposit into her relationship with Andrea so that she could serve as a “safe” person that helps her calm down instead of making her more upset