My son is six. We are going through some very typical age-related, developmental woes. On top of that, we are going through your garden variety middle-aged family woes. All the songs are right — life is hard and life is beautiful.
Today I tripped and fell into something that seemed useful. There are so many good tools out there already, but this one is new and may it serve you well today.
My son came downstairs looking depleted before the day even started. He crawled into the “snuggle chair,” and stared at our lotus leaf wall hanging for a very long time. Then, he looked at me and said, “Come here.”
We cuddled for a very long time, quietly. The dog came over, tail wagging gently, and he laid his heavy head on us. We all sat there together, quiet and gently tail wagging for a long time.
It’s always me that breaks the silence. I said, “Son, I cannot fix your problems for you. I can help, I can try, and I can speak up, but I can’t fix your problems.”
I went on to say, Here’s what I can do:
I can make sure home feels like a big thumbs up, as often as possible.
I can make sure that you understand I am on your side, 100% of the time. Even when we are fighting, I am on your side. Sometimes a mommy has to hold the line.
On the way into school, some big feelings popped up. He said, with breakfast still in his belly, “I’m hungry.”
I said, “No, I think you’re hasty.”
He should know better than to ask, but he did. “What’s hasty?”
I told him the dictionary meaning of the word; hurried, rushed, etc. And I told him about Hungry, Angry, Silly, Tired, and Yucky.
I told him that when he is overwhelmed by BIG emotions, he typically responds with hunger, anger, or silliness. He will say, “I’m tired.” Other times, he says or does something yucky while he feels yucky, that makes him feel yucky later.
We problem solved, but that part is private. You’ll have your very own, I’m sure of it.
He nodded. We’re going to work with it. Maybe it’ll help, or maybe it’ll be another shoe that doesn’t fit. He’s growing so fast these days. Maybe your little one has his or her own acronym too?
Today Tanya’s bio reads: This is a hurting place. Do good work. Talk to people, not about them. Get enough rest, and know that it’s all going to be ok. My Dad told me this secret while he was dying of cancer and the complications of diabetes, with so much pain in his body; so I know it is true.