The consultation call last night was very, very welcome this morning!!! We woke to find our son VERY mad that we had put away some of his toys last night.
This has never happened to such a degree, or ever at this time of day. It was INTENSE. Major throwing, screaming, hurling himself on the floor and trying to hit me. In the past, I would have reasoned with him, explaining why we clean up at night so you can play again the next day, etc. This time I didn’t. I stayed super calm and loving. I just kept looking at him lovingly and saying, “Wow, I can see you feel really upset. You must feel really bad to want to throw things like that. I am here for you. I love you no matter what feelings you are having.”
He would not let me touch him for a long, long time. I had to physically stop him from some things but all in all I was gentle and never admonishing. I would NEVER have handled this like this without your call.
He also kept screaming at me to go be with his younger brother. He did this about 40 times yelling, “I don’t want you here. Go downstairs!” But I never left. I just kept saying if you want to be alone I can let you be alone as long as you are safe. But I am not going to your brother. He is sleeping and does not need me. I want to be with you. You need me now so I am staying here.
While he kept saying/screaming to go to his brother I held my ground. After about twenty minutes he was still somewhat unreachable so I just went in the other room and got his bunny. I came back in and he saw bunny and grabbed it, seemingly relieved. It was around that time he let me start to hold his hand, and then sat in my lap.
He was still a bit ornery and would often get up. I kept trying to make eye contact and told him I was here for all his big feelings and that I loved him and would help him. He looked at me warily. Then at one point he was across the room and I can’t remember what he asked but I answered that I loved him very much and that I was his best friend and I knew he was hurting. I was overcome with feelings right then and I started to cry — not my own tears, more compassionate, empathic tears for how hurt he was. He rushed into my arms to give me a hug. It only lasted a second but it was interesting. Then we cuddled a tiny bit and somehow started playing a game with some animals on a painting and I was pretending they were biting me. He laughed and we snuggled for a second and that was it. He ran off to play. Whew.
I think I more or less stayed the course. It felt like an MFA in parenting! I think he really got the message that I love him and accepted his feelings and would not punish him for sharing them. Which now I realize I WAS doing in the past even though I had NO IDEA I was doing that! So, small steps, but a good beginning. Thanks for all your support!
- a mom in Los Angeles, CA
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