Thank you for the answer you emailed after the Q&A. I was not able to stay until the end. It’s so hard to have any time in a quiet place alone when we are not at home, and we are expected to participate in all the “family activities”! I haven’t listened to the recording yet, not sure I’ll be able to do it before we leave tomorrow. Things are tricky because my in-laws (we stay at their house because we live 4 hours away) don’t understand that we decided to leave to avoid the risk of contagion, so I have to face my sons’ disappointment and resistance AND my in-laws big disapproval. It freaks me out. My husband doesn’t want to be too involved, so he’s not very supportive (at least he understands my point of view and will help with the basics). My LP is not available until tomorrow night. I started this afternoon with lots of connection with my boys (physical play in the snow, and a board game tonight — indoor activities have to be quiet because of other people around). I also goofed around with them while putting on their pyjamas, making fun of my fear of them catching the stomach flu and being sick in the next place we’re traveling to (a small hut in the woods with not water nor electricity for three days — no kidding!) and how on Earth would I handle that!?!? They laughed a lot. I’m not sure how it will go tomorrow. Do you have any suggestion on how to deal with disapproving adults?
I am so sorry that you are needing to set limits with both your kiddos and your adult family members. I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you earlier. I know you are a few hours ahead of LA, so I hope you get a chance to see this.
I think the best you can do is to Set the Limit that you have to go, and then LISTEN to their feelings. Ideally, if you can listen to their feelings, they might be able to then hear your request for help and support. But there is no guarantee. Often when we have to tell someone something they don’t want to hear, it is very restimulating for them. Without their realizing it, the ‘news’ restimulates all of their childhood hurts. They think they are being ‘rejected’ in the present, The truth is that your decision is NOT rejection, but because it restimulates their old feelings of hurt, that is why they can’t separate their feelings from your health-conscious decision.
The more you can shine your light on them, the easier it might be for you. Think about when your boys get off-track and you try to stay soft and warm. Staying that way with them could actually help you stay strong and RELAXED and pleasant. It will also help your boys as they may take their cue from you.
Just know that your family may not be able to help taking it personally – it’s their nervous system that’s being triggered. The more calm and relaxed you can be, they may be able to let go of some of their anxiety and attune to your mood.
That’s the thought I will hold for you! Michelle Pate wrote this great article, and you might find some inspiration in how she helped her family shift.
I’m so glad you are coming home to a Listening Partner. You will get through this and your boys will get through this. You have their back, and your Listening Partner has yours. Let us know how it goes. We are holding good thoughts for you, brave good thinking mama!
Peace & Smiles,
Hand in Hand Certified Instructor
Conscious Child-raising Creating Cooperation and Peace
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“If we are to teach real peace in the world, we shall have to begin with children” – Gandhi