“When I first started my Hand in Hand Parenting journey, I used to wish for success stories. Fast-forward 4.5 years, and here I am to share my own. I hope this helps someone know that Hand in Hand really does work!
For the second time in as many weeks, my 8-year-old son has shown some off-track behavior that felt like it was coming out of left-field. In fact, it had been so long since I'd seen this stuff directed towards me or my husband that I had to stop long and hard to “remember” what to do.
It occurred to me that, having been immersed in the Hand in Hand approach for the last 4.5 years, that he might be able to have the self-awareness to “get it” if I talked with him and listened to him as I would to a Listening Partner – as a means of connection.
I said, “You really don't seem like yourself, honey. I find it hard to believe you are this mad about XYZ. Of course, if you really are this mad about it, that's fine, but I wonder if this is kinda your ‘broken cookie'?” (He knows what the Hand in Hand concept of a ‘broken cookie' is, where a child gets upset over a seemingly small issue as a way to signal underlying upset that he or she wants to offload since we reference it in regards to his little brother).
Folks, he looked at me and said, “Maybe!”
So I prodded a bit to get him talking, and talk he did!
I just listened mostly but prompted once or twice in order to dig deeper, just as I would if I were listening to my Listening Partner talk. Eventually, it came out that he was mad at his dad over an injustice!
Whoa! And this has happened twice now!
When he was done, he visibly felt better. My boy was back!
To wrap it up, I offered to get him cozy on the couch reading, or listening to my “yoga music” and doing corpse pose.
He chose yoga.
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This post shares how one mom listened to her child's upsets: Children Need Us To Listen Respectfully To Their Big Outbursts