I don't think I have lost control yet, he still obeys when I throw out ultimatums that he knows I will follow through on. I have never made empty promises (or empty threats when needed.) I have always been honest with him, given him choices, and responded when he made the wrong one. Lately, I have decided to focus on the theory of 'give a dog a good name' and just shower him with praise. But to be honest, it is damn hard to compliment someone on their 'good behavior' when you have been gritting your teeth all day.
Tonight, for example, he looked my dear girlfriend in the eye and told her "NO" when she asked him to turn off the water. (This was after he yelled at her son for being a 'bad boy' for getting water all over the floor trying to get out of the tub to escape!) Nice. Nothing makes you feel like an incompetent parent faster than that!
So now that he is asleep, I am rehashing the day and analyzing my every mistake. Each time that I lost my temper, each time that I rolled my eyes, and every smirk on my face just helps me to realize how easily we condition our kids to act in the same way that we despise. Maybe one day I will learn to communicate to get the desired result with him and him with me.
But as I hear his little feet thumping around upstairs when he should be sleeping I remind myself that there is always tomorrow...