Weekly Special: This is Me Loving You
December 10, 2010 § Leave a comment
I know I’ve been away from my Weekly Special. But, behold, I’m back. I’ve been warming up the house with a lot of cooking and baking. The kids just run around the house to keep warm. I should take their strategy and make it my own.
This week I’ll illustrate my version of a time out. In my version, neither child nor parent gets a time out. It’s more like a time in. That is, we spend it together and very close.
I do a lot of listening to words and body language and I can’t let myself get mad. (Mind you, sometimes I am mad, but when I rock it, I know it’s because I kept my feelings in check.)
I have talked about this approach before- I just now started using the bedroom to seclude ourselves and have a private conversation, which I think is essential so my kids don’t feel exposed and also so they feel like someone is on their side.
This is how it goes, usually.
One minute, bilingual baby is fine. She’s playing with her brother, they take turns, or they just play their own thing side by side. The next minute it’s blow up time. Her emotions turn on a dime and a lot of times there’s nothing you can do to help or don’t even try to change her mood.
After the usual talking to, where I try helping her resolve her frustration with the current situation, things sometimes escalate to a point of no return. When she has an audience, other than her usual two onlookers (baby brother and myself) she really can’t deal.
When nothing is working and her mood tells me she needs to distance herself from the situation, I take her into one of the bedrooms, close the door and hold her there until she can talk again.
Sometimes all she wants to do is yell at me and kick me. Yesterday, she actually started (lightly) scratching me and trying to bite me. If she starts with that stuff I know that she’s reverting. How puppy like?
Mainly, I just wait. I open the floor for all the venting she needs to do, all the kicking, though some days I avert more kicking than today. By the end, usually 20-30 minutes later, she’s telling me she loves me.
To illustrate what she actually says here are some of her usual lines: To love me you have to do what I want. I tell her that I can love her and not do what she wants. She also tells me that she doesn’t want me. I’m mean. I don’t love her. I should do what she wants. Repeat for 30 minutes.
I try not to belittle what she says. I just listen and take it. In my “time in” thinking, she’s trying to see if I love her.
Once she has calmed down, I talk her through what I saw. I saw her upset, unable to talk about what was bothering her, kicking mama, yelling at mama, etc. Yesterday I found myself reminding her that even though she was doing all these things, I love her. No matter what happens; no matter what she says or does to me, I will always love her.
My in-laws recently got to see one of these moments and I hope they can better appreciate what I go through in any given day.