Hi Good Mama,
I’m so sorry that you and your sweet girl are having a rough time. It’s so great that you are reaching out and that you are planning to get more Listening Time. As the Mama of an explosive child, I can tell you how crucial it is that you are getting lots and lots of emotional support. I have to get Listening Time 3-5xs each week. It’s that important!
You also might consider putting yourself in a 6 week Starter Class where you get weekly coaching and listening time with an Instructor. That consistent support made a huge difference in my capacity to be present and listen to my son. Or an private consultation with an Instructor could really help you shift the dynamic and YES get rid of that guilt.
The only thing that mucks up our thinking and saps our energy faster than guilt is FEAR. We can get so stuck – guilt about the past goes hand in hand with fear about the future. When we are constantly trying to manage those 2 big feelings, we can’t be present for our kiddos and they feel our tension. It feels very scary to them. Also, you ask if there is something wrong. You getting more Listening Time will help you decide if you and she need more resources and support.
Some things that I found helpful along the way with my son are
1) always start the day with lots of connection, rough housing and Special Time. My son wakes up in great need of connection. I know you have 3 so that is tough for you to manage. Listening Time might help you be creative about that.
2) Set Limits PLAYFULLY if possible. This podcast gives some great ideas.
3) Notice the PATTERNS Listening Time will help you with this, too. Often there is a pattern to the aggression that is being driven by FEAR. When you get more Listening Time, you will probably be able to step back and reflect on when it’s most difficult. Right now, it probably feels like it’s hard all the time. But there are probably some times that are worse than others. If you notice the patterns, then you can be proactive by offering connection, Special Time and play BEFORE things go south.
You can also start to avoid what I call UNWORKABLE SITUATIONS. Again, right now, it all seems hard. Get some Listening Time and you can start to think creatively about situations that seem to be difficult all the time. Think strategically about what you can do to avoid that situation. Maybe you don’t have oatmeal for breakfast. Maybe you only have chicken soup (actually the best thing you can possibly have for breakfast) If sugar is an issue, get it out of the house. Don’t argue about how much. Let her have one explosion that there is not going to be any sugar in the house and you listen all the way through that with mats and blankets and pillow to keep yo both safe. Then it’s done… pretty much…
All that is what helped me help my sweet boy – and it took me a lot of listening time to be able to stay calm and ANCHOR him in my belief that he is good and he would get through it.
You can do that, too! Let us know how we can continue to support you. You are a good, good Mama and she is a sweet, sweet girl who is really scared. You are there for her and that’s perfect!
Peace & Smiles,
Hand in Hand Certified Instructor
Conscious Child-raising Creating Cooperation and Peace
Follow me on facebook: Parenting by Connection with Kathy
“If we are to teach real peace in the world, we shall have to begin with children” – Gandhi