When children are behaving in a clingy, demanding way and unable to settle in to independent play it’s normally because they have some feelings bottled up that are causing them to feel tense, uncomfortable, unsettled, agitated etc.
With the current pandemic sweeping the globe, it’s very likely that your child will be bottling up more feelings than normal!
Being aware of this means you can get curious about what’s really going on for your child and how you might be able to help, rather than feeling frustrated, angry or resentful.
How might that look?
Let’s say you’re trying to wash the dishes and your child keeps pulling at your legs wanting you to come and play.
Some possible responses…
A. Give in and play even though you feel resentful
B. Get angry and frustrated with their constant demands on your time
C. Get down to their level, offer eye contact, warm touch and acknowledge what you think your child is feeling, “I can see that you really, really want me to play and you’re frustrated that I’m washing the dishes instead. I’m here, I’m listening.”
Now, when you go with C you’re offering an opportunity for your child to release some of those bottled up feelings. So it’s likely that when you respond this way your child will cry, get angry or have a tantrum in response.
This is where your child really needs you to stay calm and present as you hold space for their big feelings.
And if you can do that, your child will feel so much calmer, more relaxed and settled. Afterwards they will be much more able to settle in to at least a small window of independent play which will grow with practise.
I don’t want to make this sound easy. I know that especially right now there are so many extra demands on you.
You probably have your own big feelings to deal with too!
And pretty near impossible to be present with your child’s feelings, holding a loving space and mirroring those back authentically if you have your own stuff bubbling up causing you to feel disconnected, distracted, agitated, tense etc
This is why it’s SO important to be disciplined with your own self care and to own your emotions so your children don’t have to.
For me that means getting clear on my priorities each day, meditation/ inner work, good nutrition, sleep!, lots of water, and a daily dose of nature.
What does it mean for you??
In this time of disconnection, I want to help you to hold space for your child’s big feelings and create more harmony at home. You can take a look at my online programs or get in touch through my Facebook page and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.