Daylight Savings- Hand in Hand Parenting Style
Ohh daylight savings, that loss of 2 hours of sleep…the first when you can’t fall asleep until an hour later than usual and then getting up an hour earlier. The torture, our bodies scream. And for kiddos even more, what is this shift in the space-time continuum that you are forcing upon me, that I don’t understand? Sluggish to wake, grumpy, and just plain MAD. So you are both feeling it, we are both feeling it, parent and child. What a way to start the day, the week. Today, I turned it upside down with a little help from Hand in Hand parenting techniques.
My darling 12 year old and I struggled through the morning routine, up 10 minutes late, or 50 minutes earlier if we are being truthful…zombie-eyed…no caffeine beverage would cut my brain fog. I had some fun music on, but kept finding myself confused about what I was doing. Milk? Oh yeah, that’s what I was doing. Why am I standing at the fridge, oh yeah, stuff to make lunch, what stuff? Oye. We almost bumbled our way to the bus stop in this fog, but then the conflict happened. When my daughter was two it would have been about shoes, which ones, putting them on etc.,…that out the door moment.
This time it was me, I was the catalyst…I had the dog leash, kiddo getting on her shoes, I stepped out of the apartment to the call elevator and she followed behind, I turned and asked, “Where’s the dog!?” Albeit, not in my nicest tone, but you know my state as I described it above, bumbling. I got a swift, loud and angry response with a loud front door slam, “RIGHT THERE BEHIND YOU!!.” She was over it this morning too.
Into the elevator we go, she stands with her back to me, MAD. Out the door MAD. My thoughts start, come on let’s be happy, come on why does she have to be like this? Can’t she just be happy? I check them, let her be Amanda, you are MAD about being here too. I don’t want her day, her week to start like this, I want to fix it, I suck! Deep breath and I drop behind her in walking a little bit. What can I do? Nothing I say will help, an apology will bring an eye roll which will make me madder, how can I let her get it out, how can I flip the switch.
She notices that I have dropped behind her, I catch up as she stops for the streetlight. I go to grab her hand, she has her sweatshirt covering it, and doesn’t go to move it, she is rigid. So I give her the smallest of bumps, a very slight push into her with my side. She looks at me and literally grunts, and then says, “I’m MAD!” Girl,I know. I copy her grunt noise and give her another little bump, she grunts again and pushes back, she is strong. I catch her eye and say “yes”, and give her her grunt again with a little smile. She bumps me back again, harder, knocks me a little off kilter…I say, “You are so STRONG!” And laugh, She stomps her foot grunts again, but gives me playful eyes. We have contact.
I give her another bump and we engage in pushing up against each other, side by side. She is strong, and I have to work to keep my balance and not over power her at the same time. I am mindful, I am letting her physically express her feelings, showing her I can stick with her, letting her feel her strength against me. We are giggling and smiling. And please note, there are others around us at the light, watching, we don’t care.
The light changes, but so has her mood, we cross the street. On the other side, she gives me a push. I laugh, fumble like she pushed me harder than she did, and put my hands up and ask, “Do you really want to push?” She looks at me smiling, I can see she is regulated, “no”, she says, “I am good.” And instantly she is. We are. She is chatting, talking about her day, actually happy, not forcing herself to behave that way. All from a little physical PLAY,
Play listening is one of the 5 Hand in Hand Tools that can help you in connecting to and co-regulating your childrens’ emotions. They take a little getting used to, they feel a little different, but my parenting and professional experience have shown positive results. If you would like to learn more check out Hand in Hand Parenting https://www.handinhandparenting.org/five-tools-training/ or connect with Amanda at Preventative Help for Happy Families for a little learning, guidance and support.