Thursday, March 10, 2011

I'll Give You Something to Cry About

My kid's crying and whining annoy me to no end. But I think it's my own poor response that bothers me more than the actual crying. Gentle Discipline Colorosso D is no where to be found once the crying starts. I am so desperate for it to stop, that I forget to be empathetic and comforting. Instead I accuse them of being overly sensitive and shout at them to ´quit their crying´ followed by numerous other threats and pleas.

So, I know it's wrong. How can I learn to deal with the waterworks better? Get to the root cause of the problem -- ask questions and gently guide them to see that what they are crying about is really no big deal. The most important part is that they need to reach their own conclusion -- telling them that they are crying over nothing obviously doesn't work -- it invalidates their feelings. And nobody wants their feelings invalidated, no matter how idiotic they may seem. It tells children that they should hide how they feel and pretend to be happy to please mommy. Ugh! K, back to the solution. EMPATHY once again -- listen, pause, let them tell you what's wrong. Wait for them to calm down, hold them, give their feelings a name, hugs, got it.
Just thinking about my own childhood should be enough motivation to make me want to get this right. "up, up, up" -- what my old man would say to us between our sobs while waving the back of his hand in our faces to get us to stop crying. Anything I do will be an improvement from this! Alright, I'm ready -- bring on the tears my babies, Mommy's here for you.

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