Parenting Seminars

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Girls being angry

Yesterday, I had to rip my 3 year olds hands off my body and put her in someone else's arms screaming at me and so sad that I was leaving.  It is one of those parenting moments when the physical experience perfectly reflects the emotional one.  I felt like I was ripping apart a piece of my heart and leaving it behind.

And yet, I knew that I had gone through our normal routine of reading a story together, 3 hugs and 3 kisses and even gave a longer hug and reminder that I would be back at the end of the day.  Because I knew early that morning, when she first woke that she needed a bit more from me.  She needed a slower morning pace. Not so much nagging, not too much talking.  Just a quieter, calmer morning transition.

But that extra attention, adjustment doesn't take away the need at drop off to still be sad, to still release the emotions that have been building.  As the Mama, even though I was feeling the same thing, I needed to model strength, emotional resolve and confidence.  I needed to show her that she could be sad and angry and I could be strong for her.  I could be confident for her.

That balance, is a tough one.  There is always a question.  "Am I being too emotional, to sympathetic and causing her to be more worried?"  "Am I being too confident, too cold, too distant and teaching her that her emotions are not valid.  That she needs to just suck it up."

The teacher said that after I left, she yelled to be put down.  She stepped away from the teacher, took a deep breath and went off by herself for a while.  I've seen this reaction.  She goes to angry and control and pushes those emotions back in order to move through the day.  Its a great skill as there are plenty of times in our lives where we need to do that.

But not always.

And that is why, at home, when she is emotionally releasing, I let it come without too many boundaries.  Because we all need some place that is safe to completely let it all go.  And we hug after every hitting, slapping anger release.  And we talk about how much we need that hug.  And we talk about brave girls that are able to move on from sadness at school.  And kind girls who are able to say sorry when they've hurt someone.  And powerful girls who are always able to say what they feel and be angry when they need to be.

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