Scenario: Parker and his dad are playing a board game. Parker’s dad moves his piece the “wrong way,” and Parker loses it. 


  • Parker’s dad does not engage too much when Parker is in Yuck.
  • Even though Parker is making a big deal out of nothing, he recognizes that that behavior is only a sign that he’s in Yuck.
  • Instead of telling him all of the reasons he’s making a big deal over nothing, Parker’s dad focuses on connecting with Parker before correcting his behavior. 
  • Parker’s dad allows Parker to release his big feelings before addressing the issue.

Dad: Parker! What is going ON? I just moved my piece!
Parker: You weren’t supposed to move it THAT way!
Dad starts to get defensive but then stops.
Dad: You wanted me to move it a certain way and I didn’t.
Parker: NO!
Dad: I did it the wrong way.
Parker: Your way is stupid.
Dad: Yes, you’re certainly letting me know that.
Parker: It IS stupid. This isn’t even fun.
Dad remains silent.
Parker: I hate this game.
Dad knows that Parker doesn’t hate the game, but he doesn’t tell him that.
Parker: Aren’t you going to answer me
Dad: Not yet.
Parker: Why NOT?
Dad: Because I love you too much to upset you more.
Parker (less angrily): That’s dumb.
Dad remains silent for a few more moments until he notices that Parker doesn’t seem as angry.
Parker: Dad, can we play?
Dad: Yes, Park. But I need to be able to move my pieces how I want. YOU should be in charge of the money!
Parker: Deal!
Dad and Parker start playing again and Parker stays calm because he’s no longer in Yuck. 


This situation would not have gone the same way if Parker’s dad did not proactively…

  • Know how to handle his own Yuck (so that he didn’t make the situation worse)
  • Understand that Parker’s complaints were a sign that he was in Yuck 
  • Understand how to handle Parker’s Yuck by letting him travel the Yuck curve
  • Deposit into his relationship with Parker so that he could serve as a “safe” person that helps him calm down instead of making him more upset