My 10-year-old son woke up grumpy the Monday morning after a long weekend with his grandparents. He didn't want to get out of bed, get dressed, or brush his teeth. Each step was a struggle. I finally moved in close, hugged him to me and told him that he was going to school that day and he needed to get ready.
The dam broke and he launched into shuddering sobs. I moved us over to the couch and pulled him onto my lap and held him while he cried away all the cluttered emotions that were getting in his way.
Little brother was concerned and I told him that his brother had some big feelings to get out and we'd be fine again soon. That cleared it up for him and he let us be. I sat with my older son for about 10 minutes of good crying until the tears subsided and we were just quiet for a time.
Then he got up, got dressed, brushed his teeth and was ready for school. Apparently he had a great day because he came home eager to dig into his owl research homework right away and even crafted his speech two days ahead of schedule.
—Karen Murphy, Certified Parenting by Connection Instructor in Oregon
Join Karen in her Building Emotional Understanding course on Monday afternoons, starting May 13.