My good galpal and fellow mama sent this to me, I want to share it with all of you. Anyone who has histrionic parents will feel better after reading it. We need to calm our children, freaking out is not the same as showing love. SES
Your child is truly your mirror. The child falls and if you rush
frantically toward him, alarmed and scared: He screams with terror. Same
child same fall but you stay calm. He looks up. You smile. He smiles back
and gets up and goes on with his run happily.
You may say, "but sometimes she does hurt herself." Yes, and she will let
you know and initiate her response rather than mirror yours. Your calm
will be reassuring either way. A scraped knee is less painful when Mom or
Dad don't seem to panic. The same kiss and bandage without the anxiety
gives the child a self image of someone who can handle a fall.
Self-expression is best when it comes from the self, and not a reflection
of someone else.
This applies equally to upsets. We literally teach children to feel upset.
We model it when we are upset with them or with the burnt food. Being a
loving listener does not mean dramatizing and teaching the child to see
things as upsetting, enraging or sad.
For example, "She won't play with me," is just a fact. It isn't sad. It
doesn't hurt. It is not a rejection... not until we teach that it is. So
what's my response to "She won't play with me?" Simple: "So what would you
like to do now?" or, "Would you like me to read you a book?" or even, "How
exciting, so now you are free to do whatever you want."
We have all learned to manipulate reality, fix the child who won't share
and ask the child who won't play why and insist that she does. But why?
What does your child learn when you manipulate reality for her sake? She
learns, "I cannot handle not getting my way" and "nothing is exciting
other than the original plan" or, "I cannot tolerate change, I am weak"
When you respond, rather than manipulate, your child learns to be at peace
with reality and powerful in creating her life. She won't learn to go
against reality, but to embrace the opportunities before her.
©Copyright Naomi Aldort