For me, the trials of parenting have increased in intensity as my children age. And the test I am currently facing has me begging for some sleep deprivation or a good sandbox squabble. It seems as if, when a certain child gets frustrated, said child will hurt herself. Hurt herself on purpose. Ouch!
When I first discovered this phenomenon, it was limited to some red faced breath holding. Which has since escalated into pinching herself and for a humdinger, yesterday somebody pulled out a chunk of her own hair.
Holy hair products, help me. And to add to the insult the whole incident was brought on and witnessed by none other than my mother.
"Vanessa! You have GOT to do something about this! Vanessa, this is a SERIOUS problem. I am telling you, VANESSA, I've never seen anything like it. This is a SERIOUS PROBLEM, I tell you, VANESSA!"
Of course, I wanted to throw my hands in the air and bat it back to her. Claim that it was her fault, she drives people to hurt themselves. Take for instance her longtime boyfriend, a recovering alcoholic.
But I knew this problem with how my child was dealing with negative feelings was something that needed to be addressed. Nipped in the bud now so that I few years down the road, I don't I find steak knives underneath her bed or god forbid, worse.
So ever so gently this morning, I started a conversation with my daughter about some acceptable ways to deal with emotions. I let her make a few suggestions and praised them all as viable solutions. Yes screaming is a great way to release frustration. Screaming into a pillow - even better! I threw in the old standby counting to ten. Suggested taking deep breaths. And threw out my big gun, repeating a mantra. I offered up a phrase that I had learned from my grandmother that still serves me to this day: This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass.
I hope it works.