Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Can't Stop Crying

Each of my older children has a journal. My 2 year old mostly just colors in hers...although she pretends to write. She will even "sound out" words and say various letters as she "writes". She can make an "O"...so many words end up "oooo".

My 5 year old has been writing in his since he was 4. I really find it challenging to read phonetically sometimes. It's great not only to see him interested in writing, but it's so special to peer into his little heart and mind at a new angle. I think he is able to express his thoughts with more clarity when he writes than he is verbally. Sometimes what he writes makes me laugh...sometimes it melts my heart, and occasionally, it causes me to take a step back and take a painfully honest look at myself, and my interaction with him.

This is one of those entries that kind of grips me. It catches me and forces me to think about how I am parenting.

"I can't stop crying right away."

My son is, well, dramatic...and emotional. I'm not sure if it's his age, life changes that are happening in the family...or just his personality - or maybe something else. However, it. is. so. painful...for him, for my husband and I...for his siblings.

He has developed a tendency to respond to situations he dislikes with high pitched crying and screaming. Recently, we have determined to take a "zero tolerance policy" approach to it. It's just not ok for him to yell. Whether it's a loud sad wailing or an angry outburst...he is punished whenever he chooses that behavior.

While I think this is good, I also realized that sometimes he just needs to be removed from the situation and given time to consider what transpired. Often I just expect and demand that he stop...right now. And although I think he is able and must learn to discipline himself in that way...sometimes he needs some space and some time to cry and be sad. Not to yell and be hysterical - that I won't tolerate...but I need to allow him some space to express his emotions in a healthy way. It's my job to correct his poor behavior, but also to guide him and show him how to appropriately express his thoughts and emotions, not just to train him to suppress them, although that skill is also important.

Sometimes we all just need a good cry.

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