Our morning was a bit stressful – I wasn't feeling well so my usual sloppy housekeeping was even sloppier. My children had to make do with very little of me as I tried to get some rest.
In the evening, the boys livened up once my husband was home. My 3-year-old went into the dining room to get something and, of course, being a lively 3-year-old, he ran instead of walking. He slipped on a piece of paper left on the floor and landed, flat on his face, on the hard tiled floor. The scream brought us all out and my husband picked him up immediately. We checked him over and I noticed blood pouring from his nose and his nose swelling up like a balloon in front of my eyes!
Having some medical training (I'm a vet) helped very little for me. I was beside myself and tried hard to calm myself down. The other boys were also stressed, not knowing what to do, and I did not handle things very well – finally yelling at them to find a quiet game and I would be with them soon, just until we sorted out what we needed to do.
We stopped the bleeding but his nose looked so swollen, so sore. We got him checked out by a doctor who said the swelling was too severe to ascertain a breakage but the good news was that he could breathe well through both nostrils. Fortuitously my listening partner call was that same evening.
I cried with my partner about how awful I handled the situation, about how terribly frightening it was for everyone involved and that his little nose could be broken! I spoke about how I wished I could have handled it all so much better. I wished I was the calm, confident and calming parent.
The next morning, my young son's nose was a bit sore but the swelling had come down considerably. His nose looked a little crooked and I was sure he had broken it. Again, fortuitously I had another listening call that morning. I used the opportunity for concentrating on my guilt at what had happened. That if I had just picked up that piece of paper, it would never have happened! Why couldn't I have picked up that small piece of paper?!
That afternoon, I was still feeling guilty but knew that we were going to be ok. I had had listening time so soon after such a horrible time. I had time to cry, to release tensions, feelings of guilt, of inadequacy as a parent and as a housewife so when it came time for my son to release his fears about what had happened (in the form of hitting and fighting with his brothers) a day or two later, I was ready to listen to him. We played vigorous games, playing and running and initially my son was a bit hesitant. A few days of gentle play made way for much rougher play (his favourite) as he became brave again.
This whole situation demonstrates so clearly how the listening tools in Parenting by Connection all work together. Had I not had an opportunity to shed my tensions, I would not have been able to help my son with his. I was more attentive to his needs, all the while knowing that his tensions would be released through difficult behaviour – antisocial and violent (as fear was a big feeling associated with what had happened to him). We used playlistening to regain his confidence in his ability to run and jump without fear of falling.
Over the next week, the swelling continued to go down and thankfully, it looks as though there are no broken bones after all!
– a mom in Australia