Thank you so much Kathy. Your responses are so very helpful!
So, what I’m hearing is that the aggression and fighting without tears is (if I’m able to just be there for him through it) building trust…is that right?
And about sweating as a release Kathy…I wonder if you have any thoughts on night-sweats. My son very often sweats a lot in the hours soon after he goes off to sleep, whether it’s hot or not. I wonder if it’s all part of it?
And I love this Kathy “…get tons of listening so we can see them as good no matter what”. That just sounds so freeing! And to let go of any agenda…I so wish I had known this well when they were young. I TOTALLY had an agenda about helping them to cry. That’s ok, I know now and I can help them from here on in…
And I can see now how having an agenda could compromise the safety necessary for any kind of release!
And thank you so much for going into detail about setting only one limit. I do believe I haven’t fully understood this up until now, and have indeed set more than one limit at a time!
In the example you gave about the dinner limit and then slamming doors and throwing stuff…this could have been my story!
And in my version of the story it might have gone a bit differently in that when he (either of my sons) was on the other side of the door kicking it, I would likely try setting another limit about kicking the door. Ahh what a relief to finally get some clarity on all this! It really is about the questions you ask, ha! And it’s taken me a long time to get clear on the questions I’ve needed to ask.
Thanks for the suggests about my own listening time…I’ll try to set this up for myself.
Screens, yes…I do know what you mean when you talk about the double whammy that comes after setting a limit. It’s ferocious! And it totally triggers me, and I usually try to set another limit about not slamming fists into the top of the computer!! (just so I can understand clearly, does a second limit lead to too much thinking, or simply removes the safety?)
And just to clarify Kathy, are you saying that it’s ok to have no-screen ST often, and then allow screens some of the time?
Thanks for the link to the article…it was helpful.
And wow Kathy, you hit on something really deep for me in that last paragraph. My relationship with my oldest son is definitely different to my younger son. I don’t know what it is…I know I don’t NEED to know, either. But it brings up a LOT for me. And what you wrote here:
“When we equate our kids’ behavior with our worth, or even equate it with “how our relationship is doing” it is very, very difficult to listen to them unconditionally. and nearly impossible for us to intervene playfully.”
…so accurate and offers such a light-bulb moment. Thank you for the opportunity to see this with more clarity!