Sunday, February 3, 2013

So Proud

One of the things we emphasize in our house is speaking calmly and verbalizing emotions. I really want Will to have the emotional coping skills necessary to understand and articulate his feelings, as well as the ability to self-advocate. We do this at home by helping him find words for his emotions ("It seems you're feeling sad/frustrated/overwhelmed/disappointed/etc") and by taking one-on-one time to help him process what he's feeling. This often involves heading to a quite place to snuggle and "talk about it". Will does this well at home with Ben, Grandma and I (even when he throws a tantrum, he's usually able to associate an emotion with what he's feeling). But he's never really had to do it with others.

Last week, we were playing at a local kids' cafe when a little girl (probably 3 or 4 years old) came over and deliberately knocked over the train Will was playing with. It took everything in me not to intervene, but I stayed put. Will was visibly upset, but instead of crying or running over to me, he turned to her and said, "Please don't do that. It makes me sad."

I was so. damn. proud.

Unfortunately, his actions didn't really affect the other child's behavior. She came over several other times and knocked over whatever he was playing with. But each time he calmly picked up the toy, asked her to stop ("Please don't do that") and explained why ("It makes me sad").

Later, we had to have the hard conversation of why people don't always do what we ask, even when we ask kindly, but I told him over and over again what a great job he did. It was one of my proudest parenting moments, which I really needed after some of the other toddler behavior we've been experiencing as of late.

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