what do i do when…

January 22, 2009 at 4:49 am 3 comments

Struggling with this…
We get up, have breakie then it’s time for school. Just as she gets downstairs, she collapses to the floor, flails and kicks and begins to cry. Usually it’s something like a clothing tag which is scratching her skin, her boots haven’t been tied the way she likes them, or her coat is too tight (she’s extremely sensitive to anything like that). But it’s gotten worse, to the point where she won’t even tell me what’s wrong. She’ll start to scream and after a few minutes, I have to carry her out to the car and ignore the screams. She seems to get worse if I try to talk to her. This morning I completely ignored her and although it was horrible, she stopped crying earlier than usual.
I’m stumped. I don’t want to be a drill-sergent mum, ignoring her crying, but talking about it both before and after school doesn’t seem to solve anything as she can’t express in words what’s going on.
At school, she’s amazing. Never loses it, very calm (it’s a montessori which really seems to suit her) so her teachers can’t relate when I talk to them about it. I’ve read the Mary Sheedy ‘Spirited Kids’ books but to be honest, it doesn’t seem to be anything we do. She just seems to need this release all the time. I’m wondering if she’s getting enough exercise, and whether putting her in more sports might create an outlet for her.

Here are some ideas to try…
1. DANCE PARTY. She needs an emotional release, just as you’ve realized. Sometime between wake up and going out the door, crank the music up really loud and have a wild dance party. Totally let loose and have a blast all of you together. I’m not sure organized sports is the outlet she needs right now.
2. ROLE PLAY. At night, sometime when she is calm and content, get some puppets or dolls and act out the scenerio with her. Ask her what the mom should do. Ask her what the daughter is needing in that moment. See if she is more able to share what’s going on with her in this playful and safe way.
3. LEARNING FOR YOU. She is your teacher. It seems that she is teaching you how to be completely accepting of a wild range of emotions. She needs you to just BE with her, without fixing or changing or judging what she feels. It sounds like you are well on your way with this, so continue to look inside yourself for any “reaction” and work to calm yourself and allow her to be however she needs to be.
4. HOMEOPATHY. I’m telling you, working with a good homeopathic doctor could help immensely. Many times what we think is a personality trait is actually simply an imbalance. Being sensitive to clothing tags is a symptom. I love working with Dr. Mark Janikula (www.vitalhomeopathic.com) and he works remotely, so you might want to check that out.

Love to you all.


Entry filed under: what do i do when....

wee spirits Being happy

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. klaroche  |  January 22, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Wow. I knew you’d help, but I didn’t imagine I’d feel so reassured, understood and so educated with one post. It’s as if you know my daughter inside and out! Thank you thank you. I shall try all of those things, especially the homeopathic option. This morning was so beautiful. We started the day with a wintry walk. She ate, she went poop (god, could it all come down to needing poops!), then we happily went off to school. She was my girl again and it was heaven.
    Thank you Kris, from the bottom of my heart.

  • 2. heidibuecking  |  January 22, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    what wonderful advice! i could relate to some of the challenges with a child screaming and the parents’ talking only making the situation worse. the point about accepting it really resonated with me….and the dance party! i also want to point out how important self-compassion is for us parents in those moments when our kids are ‘melting down’ 😉 keep the sage advice coming!

  • 3. Theresa  |  January 23, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    I read Tears and Tantrums by Aletha Solter, and it has really changed the way I relate to my baby’s emotional releases. Sometimes a good cry is all anyone needs to feel better.


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