A Good Cry and a Good Listener Changes Everything

Setting a limit at bedtime can bring up big feelings for children. Holding the limit, while making room to also hear the feelings is a challenge, but it builds a child's confidence and connection with you.

It’s been a tricky week.

Ever feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day?timer

As a busy parent your to-do list just seems to grow and grow! Add in paid work and this only escalates, you start planning by the minutes, sometimes seconds! It’s not easy to meet all of your work deliverables and keep your family happy and in tune.

This week was the last of our 6-week school holiday break. I had planned on spending as much time with my children as possible.

How I scheduled in play and connection

My business had other ideas! It was crunch time for building my business—so I stayed up late and did as much as I could in the midnight hours!!! Then crammed in lots of play and connection time with my gems before school and kinder routines began again!

Amongst all this attempted work-family life balancing, my beautiful daughter has been going through what we call in Parenting by Connection ( a wonderful connected parenting approach ) an “emotional project.”

She has been consistently working through some big feelings that have been getting in her way, in the best way she knows—lots of crying, lots of tantrums and lots of rage!!! Did I mention that these feelings were coming consistently ??? ( read: meltdowns by the minute!!)

Years ago I was fortunate enough to do some educational training on the healing powers of tears & tantrums, so whilst logically I know she is doing good hard healing work and I love being able to support her through these hard times in loving ways. It’s hard work for me too!

When a Mumma’s gem is hurting, the Mumma is hurting too! Not to mention all the triggering of my own past childhood hurts that get reactivated! Agh!!!

Chidlren need to feel close and connected to their parentsLast night my daughter’s rage escalated when told that she couldn’t have another book before bed. Her mind literally flipped and she was no longer thinking well—she was pure raw emotion. Amongst her rage she lashed out at me, scratching my face! The shock of this happening combined with my own exhaustion led to my own tears.

BUT….I took a BIG DEEP BREATH  (and a little inside-voice swearing!) and did my best to stay present with my daughter, listening and pouring my love in as she cried and cried away all her hurt…

Eventually she was out of tears and exhausted. Smiling serenely, now with the look of someone who has just had the weight of the world lifted from them—she said she was ready to go to sleep. As she slept sweetly & soundly, it was my turn!

As I cried , I spoke of how hard it all is, how exhausted I am, wondering what I could do more of/better, why my daughter is suffering and many more muffled heart-felt sobbing sentences. My beautiful husband listened with his warm and loving attention. No advice, no interrupting, just real, honest, loving, compassionate LISTENING!

Exhausted, I soon finished my own healing wrapped in a big hug from world’s best hubby and went to bed.

The next morning we all woke bright-eyed, clear-headed and feeling super positive.

My daughter made a brief comment about yesterday’s happenings along the lines of, “I’m sorry that I couldn’t think properly and hurt you Mum. You know I love you so much.” I replied, “I know sweetheart I love you too.” Then she responds with, “Oh well, that’s soooo yesterday, let’s make today the best day ever!!”

I love having the knowledge that tears & tantrums heal hurt. They are a natural mind/body process. I love being able to support my gems through ALL their feelings. I love that I have the support of really great listeners to be able to do this!

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