My son turned 6 a few weeks ago. He has always been a happy well-adjusted kid. I've generally mothered somewhat attachment-style, with the philosophy that it's ok for him to feel his feelings, and we are happy to talk about and address them, but it is not acceptable to try to hurt others. Emotions are the keys to understand ourselves and each other. I have been a single mom since he was 18 months old and he sees his dad once a week. Please don't include advice for dad or trying to collaborate with him in any way here because that's out of the question. So, last night my son started calling me names when he was taking a long time brushing his teeth and it was way after bedtime, and I tried to get him to give me the toothbrush (I brush his teeth for 1 minute when he is finished due to dentist's recommendation. Soft teeth.) I told him what I usually tell him, that I'd like to listen to what he has to say but not if he is using disrepectful words. He got angrier and grabbed my phone to start playing games. He had 3 minutes left (he's allowed 15 minute a day) but I took the phone away because it didn't seem appropriate to let him sit there playing games while telling me that I sucked. Finally he became so angry that he yelled about how much I sucked for about 1/2 hour, and that I wished I was never alive, and he ran into his room and slammed the door (first time ever on all of these things), and then spent the next hour sitting alone in the dark on the couch, as he refused to go to bed and it was my bedtime, so I went into my room. I welcomed him to come when he had reset and was able to speak respectfully to me. He didn't come, so finally I lured him in with a lullaby on my phone that has
always been a sweet beautiful thing we do right before bed. But, the whole situation was awful, and this morning he seemed like he didn't know what to do with himself. Didn't want to talk, read books instead of eating breakfast (also totally new behavior), and was unhappy going to school. We have weekly "house meetings" where we talk about things we appreciate and things we'd like to change, and he says he has some stuff to talk about. But, I don't think he's on board with the concept that sometimes things can't be changed, but that I will always try to meet his needs the best I can. Please, any advice on how to deal with this kind of thing going forward? How to possibly prevent it, and if can't prevent it, to work constructively with it in a way that we can both learn from toward growing a happy child?