Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I read back a few years on the blog.    2 year olds are busy.  3 year olds are hysterical.  4 year olds are sweet.  But 5 year olds?  At least mine - they are tough.  In retrospect, so much of this year in parenting has been hard for me - emotionally, that is.  So hard, that I haven't wanted to blog about it - the stories I have to tell are less than flattering pictures of our lives. 

M's behavior this year has been persistent, insitent and consistent.  My reaction to this behavior has been to feel disheartened, defeated and guilty.  He goes from 0 to 60 in mere seconds - tantruming and overwhelmed.  And I shut down.  I tell him to go to his room, calm down and speak to me when he's not crying.  I'm ashamed to admit that at my best in these times, I tune him out and at my worst, I yell.

But the other night, when he threw a fit because the girls had a different fort in mind to design, neither of those reactions felt right.  I flashed back in my mind to a time in 6th grade when I was so frustrated with my life, I spewed hateful words at my family.  I remembered the kind of cry that feels like it will never stop.  Like you may never catch your breath again.  Like screaming is the only way someone will hear you.

So I knelt down and told him he was being really clear with his feelings.  I told him I understood that frustration.  I asked him how I could help and he climbed right into my lap.  He buried his head into my neck and I felt his hot tears.  I sat quietly and hugged him tightly and soon he was calm.  After several minutes, he said "Girls, I just wanted you to listen to my idea."

Clear as day, he let us know what was going on in that emotional little mind.
Note to self - try to hear what is being said, even through shouting and tears.     


  1. Tough lesson but it will stay with you forever. Our kids have such wonderful little spirits and they do just want to be heard. What a sweet little man you have there!!

  2. I love it when things come together in the RIGHT way...it brings about the hope that things can go that way MORE often :)

  3. Thank you, once again, for your honesty and insight. We've had some moments like that with one of our 5 year olds recently. I struggle with listening through the screaming too. I think what makes it hard is that I tell myself they "should" be done with the screaming. Silly!!! If we, as adults, have our version of tantrums how can we expect little ones not to. It was nice to hear from you again. Take care!!!