Hi, I’m wondering if I can get some suggestions for play listening with my 6 year old. He has been either roaring loudly directly in his sisters face (4 year old sister). Or saying mean things like “I’m gong to kill her”. Last night it was “I’m going to put needles in your eyes and kill you”. I was able to talk about this with my listening partner last night and I was able to keep myself calm enough to separate them and not yell but rather go to my daughter and tell her that I would keep her safe. She sometimes doesn’t even react when he says these things which I find sad. Maybe because it happens so much. I try setting the limit kindly but that doesn’t seem to stop the behaviour. I know he is hearing a lot of scary things at school from some other boys. He told me this morning that a kid told him that the teacher killed another student. I’m sure he is reacting because he is scared himself. I just don’t know how to play this one out. Maybe it’s not play listening I need?
Many thanks!!! Tara
Kudos to you good Mama for taking this to your Listening Partner. You are thinking so well about your sweet boy and you really have a handle on what is driving this off-track behavior.
Absolutely you can be Playful with this behavior. In fact, it’s almost impossible to Set A verbal Limit on verbal off-track behavior. But getting Laughter going through affection games can help. Remember LAUGHTER is the off-loading of light FEARS.
Here are some articles that have some great playlistening games that will help you address the off-track behavior in the moment:
Then you want to help counter the fear in him by ramping up the Special Time, and doing lots of rough/n/tumble PLAY where you take the LESS powerful role. This will fill his connection cup and make him feel less powerless – kind of inoculating him against the off-track behavior he is being exposed to at school.
This article gives you a kind of blue print:
In addition you can help this situation by nurturing his relationship with his sister. Creating games where the two of them get to gang up on you will be very healing for their relationship and great fun! Here are some more ideas on games you can play:
Lastly, I would say that when those things have popped out of his mouth, you can nurture their relationship by simply saying to your daughter, “I’m sorry your brother is not thinking very well right now. He really does love you and we are going to help him get back on track.”
They are so lucky to have you, Tara. I know you will help him figure this out.
Please let us know if we can continue to support you!
Peace & Smiles,