My !6 month old daughter fights with us when we brush her teeth and change her diaper. These are things that need to be done. When I am am changing her diaper and cleaning her she is starting to close her legs and kick. I try to go slow and listen to her cry and explain what am doing. It’s still needs to be done especially for a poopy diaper. Sometimes I feel like I am traumatizing her especially changing her diaper. I want to be repectful of her but, not sure what to do. Wiping her teeth we get the same fight. Lots of screaming and holding her mouth closed or biting. I do have a LP but, would love to hear if anyone has any thoughts about this.
Thanks for your thinking.
What a loving Mama you are – Listening to your sweet girl! And really wanting to think well about her. It’s great that you have a Listening Partner. Well done! Listening Time is a great place to take all your fears and frustrations about how hard it is to get regular stuff accomplished; how tough it is for your sweet girl right now and how powerless you feel.
Working on our own sense of powerlessness is a great place to explore in Listening Time – thinking back about how it was when we were small; when we might have felt powerless or scared. Having a good cry about those old hurts will give you a different perspective on using these Tools and you may even find that your daughter shifts because YOU will be more RELAXED.
You’ve probably read in our material that our approach is based in brain science and human development and we know that humans, particularly children, are more likely to cooperate when they feel SAFE and CONNECTED.
So, the first thing you can do is to put in some Special Time and/or roughhousing and Play BEFORE the transitions and tasks that you have to do.
The next suggestion is that you add some PLAY into these tasks. This is our tool PLAYLISTENING. You PLAY with the resistance or refusal and you LISTEN for the Laughter. Here are are few articles. The children are a bit older in these stories, but you can modify, I’m sure…
And a Playlistening story about the diaper change:
Laughter and PLAY are going to make all of these tasks so much for fun and connecting for both of you.
If she’s pretty tight and not willing to play, then you know it’s time to use our other listening tool, STAYLISTENING. I think a little adjustment will help you support her crying without feeling that you are traumatizing her. You’ll want to do this when you have lots of time and don’t have to get out the door right away.
Instead of continuing to try to change her diaper when she’s crying and protesting, you PROPOSE the diaper change. Slow is good, but only go as far as you need to go in order to elicit tears, as you propose the start of the diaper change. This story is about taking medicine, but it will give you an idea of what I mean by PROPOSE the diaper change, let her cry hard. Then when the crying subsides, you proceed with a little more of the diaper change. LISTEN to her tears. This approach allows you to LISTEN, but not force the diaper change to happen.
Now, if she runs away and it turns PLAYFUL, that’s good, too. LAUGHTER is also offloading the tension and fear that is causing her to resist.
You are doing such great Listening with your sweet girl. I hope my thoughts make sense and will help. We also have this collection of articles that I think can help you continue to support her, and build her confidence without so many power struggles. And YOU keep getting Listening Time, too! Let us know how it goes…
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