My 8-year-old son was off-track and was signalling it clearly. It was bedtime and he was in my bed for cuddles, but he did not want to cuddle! He refused to let me leave the bed or the room, but also refused to let me near him, insisting I stay on the far side of the bed.
Previously, I had tried Staylistening by staying close and telling him I wanted to be with him while he was upset, but these sessions didn’t always end well. So this time, I tried a different tack. I offered him 10 minutes of Special Time, even though it was late. I knew that if we didn’t connect, bedtime would end up being much later anyway!
Of course, he readily accepted! He wanted to watch some magic tricks on YouTube on the iPad, and then he practised some on me. To practise, he scooted close to me straight away.
After the 10 minutes were up, I switched off the lights, and he cuddled next to me just fine!
–Shaheen Merali, London, England
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