Originally Posted by storeimy
I'm really having a time getting Avery to communicate her feelings. As a family we are compassionate, loving and open people who talk, talk, talk about our feelings. Somehow though Avery thinks yelling, screaming, pulling hair and pinching are appropriate ways to get her point across. She is INCREDIBLY strong. Not just emotionally but physically...
I may have mentioned this previously, but DS was much better able to express his feelings in words just a year ago and even before that. I took such care in "emotion coaching" him from early on and I admit, I was proud to have a kid who could say, "Mommy, lets sit down. I want to talk about my feelings."
But it's clear that he simply does not possess the rationale right now which while I know is typical for the wild and woolly four year old, still trips me up. He talks over me during our tough moments, and it takes everything I have not to lose it. But if I'm being honest with myself, one of my biggest things I'm trying to overcome with my parenting is my tendency to lecture when I get angry and at my wits end. The kids just living what he's learned. From me. Indeed, I have gotten into the habit when things are touch going, check myself first.
Our biggest issue right now is that we are miscommunicating a lot. I say one thing, he hears another, and thinks I'm either thwarting or threatening him when in my mind, I'm just trying to find out what he needs. The quote in Kohn's, Unconditional Parenting
is constantly running through my mind:
|How we feel about our kids isn't as important as how they experience those feelings and how they regard the way we treat them.
I'm trying hard to work on talking with DS in a way where he can get his feelings out and know that all his feelings are ok, but it's been so hard lately. An example:
We have plans to go the park, but he's starting making comments like, "Is John going to be at the park? Playing with John doesn't work. The park won't be fun. I'll have to be a big dinosaur and eat him up!", I might say, "Hey, if you aren't up for the park, that's ok. We can stay home." Well, its taken me awhile to realize (DOH!)
that this is NOT his way of saying he doesn't want to go. This is his way of saying, I want to go to the park BUT, I'm feeling anxious and I need you to HELP me figure how to relax and play at the park. So when I counter with, "we don't have to go" he perceives it as a threat. The horror! My intention is to give him the option out if he's not up for social time, but in reality I'm robbing him of an opportunity to work on the very thing he wants to work on, making friends. Totally taking away his power. ACK! Somedays I really fail at decoding his messages and I can get into real trouble with it, totally the opposite of the kind of parent I want to be... which is to say, no threats, punishments, etc. And here I am sneaking them in, unbeknownst even to myself.
Keep the conversation going all. Its been very reassuring and a great support.