I’ve been working with Cynthia on learning how to build a solid foundation through working with my daughter rather than trying to control her.
Apparently, a few of the “older” kids are being very aggressive towards the younger children, hitting them and pushing them around.
Parents got together and came up with a carpool arrangement, then invited one of the Hand in Hand trainers for an education night to learn about Parenting by Connection tools. Some families started doing Special Time and Staylistening at home.
This was my first experience with Stay Listening and I loved it! No need to say the right thing, counsel, negotiate, or give advice. Being present, listening, and trusting my son’s emotional processing – this felt right!
I sat there thinking how Mother’s Day was an hour away, I would be getting up at 7 and driving to South San Francisco with my daughter and right now I am probably the absolute LAST person she wants to be with. Sigh. A Mother’s Day to look forward to.
All in all, it was 8 hours of really hard crying, perspiration, and tears. I could smell his body odor—he worked up a heavy sweat.
I thought, “No, we aren’t going to be able to handle a big upset right now!” so I got her to let him go, and we kept on pillowfighting and wrestling for a long time–10 or 15 minutes.
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.
My wife and I also had to process our feelings: it didn’t feel good to hear how painful it was for us to limit her social life in this way. She felt badly, we felt badly.
I talked about nail biting, how I feel about it, and how I feel about my sons doing it. It felt to me as if nail biting was one of those habits that was almost impossible to shake off. I felt that my sons were doomed to live with the habit for the rest of their lives.