Tuesday, August 6, 2013

When Little Ones have Big Emotions

Today was a first for me. My 5 year old decided that he did not want to stay with us. That he wanted a new family. And that he did in fact "hate" me. 

To be honest, it kindof caught me off guard. He just had a fun sleepover with a friend and he was frustrated (or so I thought) about which park we were going to play at after piano. Running away seemed like a huge step up from what was going on.

I didn't feel nearly as sad as I thought I would. 

Maybe it was just because I was thinking the same thing...I would also like a new family. Is that possible?

I did feel frustrated- and angry- and a whole list of other things. 

 I had two options I could think of at that moment. I could make him go to his room for the rest of the day and sleep. Or I could drop him off at his friends house and say goodbye. 

I was tempted to do the second. Like, really, really, really tempted. 

But I managed to make it home in one piece and just kept my mouth shut. Barrett grabbed his backpack and headed down to his room and packed his bags. "With 10 things," He told me.

I told him we were sad he was leaving and wouldn't he please stay for lunch. After all, I had his hotdog ready. 

So, believe it or not- he sat down with a smile and ate his hotdog. 

Sweet! It worked. He's over it- I thought. 

But he wasn't. "Thanks for lunch Mom! Can you drive me to my friends house?"

I told him that I could not drive him there and that he had to figure out how to get there himself. He proceeded to walk out the front door! I really was curious to see how far he would make it. But at this point, I just reminded him that he should probably say goodbye to his Dad and leave after he got home from work. And would he like to have some zucchini bread with me while he waited?

He said yes (thankfully, I was having visions of the police knocking on my door wondering what in the world I was thinking) and we actually started to have a conversation...

Turns out, he was sad his friend is moving to another state. It wasn't about the park or having to go to piano or that I was a mean mom. It was that he was overcome with saddness that he may never see his friend ever again. 

And that did in fact, make me very sad too. 

So we kept talking about how to stay in touch and that he would be able to see his friend again and that it would in fact be ok. We talked about how it was ok to be sad. And angry. And frustrated. 

I'm not sure I handled it the best way possible- but I do know that we are entering a phase of parenting I wasn't ready for. These little guys really do have these amazingly strong feelings and emotions- even if it takes us a bit to figure out the source. 

So here we go. My little one is now starting Kindergarten and totally ready. 

I just hope and pray I am as well!

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