Saturday, June 6, 2009

Lots of Good Things Today

One of the good things that happened today was that I was better about being present and involved with E and L when they weren't getting along. I tried to remember everything I was thinking about last night when I wrote about them experimenting. When we were in the car, E was grabbing L's hands and making loud noises while L was trying to sleep. In the past, I have sometimes responded by yelling "Leave your sister alone! Don't touch her!"

Today I said, "E, it looks like L is tired. What can we do to help her sleep?"

E: She needs a toy to help her sleep.

Me: Like a soft toy she can cuddle with?

E: Yep, I'll find her one!

Unfortunately there were no soft toys within reach for either of us. So I asked her what else she thought we could do.

E: Let's sing her a song!

Me: Ok, what song?

E: ABC's.

So, we sang the ABC song several times. I doubt our singing actually helped L sleep, but it did distract E from bothering her. After a while she said, "Mama, L is sleeping! We need to sing softly." So, we sang once or twice more, nearly whispering.

Then tonight, I was helping E with something, and L was standing by E's chair fussing. E put her face right in L's face and yelled "AACCHHHOOO!!" like she was sneezing. That just upset L more. Rather than assume that she understood that L was upset and knew what to do about it, I chose to talk to her about it.

Me: How do you think L is feeling right now? Do you think she's happy?

E: No, she's sad. But she's happy when I say "AACCHHOO!"

(Sometimes that's true. E and L play a hilarious game where they both pretend to sneeze. It's really cute! But it wasn't working this time.)

Me: Hhhhhmmmm. It doesn't look like she's liking that this time.

E: Oh!

Then she grabbed a cracker off the table and handed it to L. L liked that!

E: See! She's happy now! I helped her to be happy.

I didn't do so well every time today, but those moments give me hope. If I can just do a little better this time than last time. Be a little more present. Have a little more patience.

1 comment:

  1. It took me longer to get this than it has you but it really does help in the long run. My kids had a friend over last night and her brother over earlier ysterday. I am always amazed at the difference between their brother and our boy--and they are both pure boy but in our case we have deliberately taught the girls to be understanding of his "boyness" and him to recognize that he is to help and protect them insteda of doing mean tricks. The girls know that when he starts doing mean things he is being a boy trying to get their attention and they refocus teir attention so that they can all get along. It doesn't always work but makes an amazing difference when you see how they interact compared to other sibling boys and girls of the same age.