After the listening time I began to think of how the teacher must feel. If she was calling the children crybabies, she must not be feeling very good herself.
I spent some “Special Time” with her, playing until we felt like we knew each other. Eventually, she told me that she wanted to stop sucking her thumb. I said that I would stay with her while she tried to think about taking her thumb out of her mouth, but that I wasn’t going to make her take it out.
I knew that she was judging herself harshly, and I wanted to see if she could work through it.
So, the night before last seemed the perfect night to put my limit setting to the test. When my youngest woke up and wanted to come to our bed, I said in a loving tone, “No. I’m going to go sleep with Aba (dad), and you are going to stay here in bed with your brother.”
“Your head is hot,” he said. “You had a hard day. It must be hard taking care of three kids and yourself too.”
I normally listen to his big feelings when he brings an upset to me, using Staylistening in response to his cues. This time, I decided that I wanted to help him with both these issues because they affected our daily life, and because they weren’t getting better on their own.
I was calm and felt an internal peace I have not had in a while. I knew I was there for her and that it was not my responsibility to “make her” feel better, that she just needed to to feel her pain, confusion and anger.
Listening Tools have been so helpful for us.
The truth is that his mother really sticks to buying organic food most of the time and wouldn’t buy these gummie gushers; we are a little more lenient in letting my daughter explore some different foods once in a while.
She immediately got very upset and began crying and screaming at me. I moved closer to her and she began to scream at me to go away.
After about 10 minutes, my husband came in and said, ‘how do you know you’re not hurting them or making things worse?’ I had to shout over their wailing that we were on the right track and even predicted that, at the end of all this, one sister would genuinely give the toy to the other.
As soon as another child would begin playing with a toy, he would come over and either hit the child or grab the toy away.
We often give in to her wants, even though we don’t think it’s a good idea, because she looks miserable when she’s not getting what she asks for. We get confused about the right thing to do.
Immediately after that, he said his first sentence!
Whatever I said, the answer was “NO!” He was really out of kilter.