I saw a friend who is a therapist post this on her page, and it gave me some perspective on my trip ahead.
Is your child allowed to be “dirty, funny, needy, silly, proud, aggressive, weak, defiant, creative, and uncertain”? Well, to the extent that these evoke anxiety from the parent, if they are responded to with coldness, ridicule, or punishment, they will become sources of shame.
Mothers of secure children appear to be much less threatened when their child expresses negativity. Check out this quote:
“Secure attachment is linked to the child’s ability to successfully express negative emotions. A secure child can cry, shout, or fall silent and know that he will be responded in a meaningful way. His negative emotions are thus an effective part of his repertoire and do not become ugly to him and have to be disavowed. He can say “I hate you” or “you don’t love me,” or “you are mean” or “you like the baby better than me” with confidence that he will NOT be met with an icy stare, the silent treatment, a slap, an order to go to the room, or various forms of guilt: “How can you say that?” “Don’t you know that hurts mommy’s feelings”, or “you apologize”. “
Try to be more comfortable and less threatened with your child’s emotions. Feel free to comment your thoughts or questions.
Karen, Robert (1994) Becoming Attached. New York: Warner Books, Inc.
I do my best to acknowledge their feelings, and listen, and be patient, but it is not easy. My husband is the law of the land, so when what I am doing is not working, he steps in. I think kids need both, but on our following road trip, I know all of our patience and emotions will be tested. They are all older than before, so hopefully with all the goodies that I am bringing, and maybe some good listening and conversation, I can allow my children to “successfully express negative emotions,” OY!
What I am most excited about is we are visiting friends that I have had since childhood and family that I can just relax and enjoy with. No mani/pedi, no big preparations, light packing with nothing warm or too dressy, just honoring our matriarch that has created such a legacy and contributed her positive energy to each soul that she has created.
Excited to see my Babushka,