She had a hard time today. My little girl. She was resistant and slipped into testing easily. She was frustrated at her brother and lashed out at him. She wanted to be left alone few times. She screamed. She lashed out at me, even tried to scratch and hit me,,, all with a tense semi-smile on her face, then crying – melting down.
In between difficult moments she was playing independently, calmly putting on her clothes, finishing her breakfast, carrying our grocery bags into the house without being asked to do so and joyfully playing with her brother.
Now she’s peacefully sleeping. My lovely little girl, who had a hard time today.
The thing is that today, this was her doing her best. And actually, she did so well indeed. Because with all that she’s going through right now, it’s so understandable that she has her off days.
Moving countries, viewing new houses, visiting new schools, daddy travelling for work...I am beyond thankful that I was able to see her. That I saw further than her upsets and off track behaviour.
I myself had been going about my day with a subtle stress-knot in my stomach and it wasn’t until my lovely husband asked me “Are you ok? You seem a bit stressed, what are you thinking about?” that I realised that I was having a hard time with the fact that he was leaving for yet another work trip in the morning.
Then it came to me. Wow, if I have a knot in my stomach about my husband leaving tomorrow, how do my kids feel?
For me to even have the slightest chance of gracefully getting through hard days like these I need to remind myself again and again: This is exactly how children express their discomfort, insecurities, sadness, or any built up tension or emotions,,, their discomfort or feelings of disconnection will so often come out like it did today with my daughter.
It helps SO much to have this perspective, to realise that there is always something that lies behind their behaviour. To understand that this is how they process it all. To know it’s natural, normal, necessary!
Every day I get questions from parents asking me how they can become more peaceful and patient with their children. And guys, this is it,,, this is one of the big mindset shifts that will get you there.
See, it is this profound perspective, this mindset, of seeing further than our children’s behaviour that allows us to rise above the chaos and gracefully ride the waves. This is the mindset that enables us to step into the role of the confident captain of the ship so we can navigate our children’s waves of emotions with patience and love, confidence and focus, holding space for it all at the same time as we set the boundaries our children need to be safe
I’m so thankful for the lessons respectful parenting has taught me, for the lens I get to look through and “see differently” as Magda Gerber so beautifully put it. A lens that allows me to see even the most challenging days as precious and valuable.
Seen through this loving lens, my little girl was truly amazing today. She did what she could and that will always be good enough.