Gah! Tears!

My daughter has been having some uncharacteristic outbursts lately. Unreasonable relative to her typically logical personality. She’s not so soft spoken, she’s opinionated. But she’s determined and soft hearted. Reasonable.

She’s started to feel the impending responsibility of first grade, a whole new set of goals, experiences and ideas, and recognizing that there is a hell of a lot going on in the world around her. And she’s feeling a loss of control. And order.

Amidst analyzing…everything…that comes her way, lately she leans towards regression and upset that I haven’t seen from her. Simple things that normally wouldn’t have bothered her. Telling me I’m mean when she breaks something. And high pitched nonsensical lectures when she can’t (and won’t) find her woobie at night. Or when she’s taken an unfair hand from her sister. All usually taken in stride.

They’re momentary. But they’re strange. As a knee jerk, initially I was combatting it with hollering back at her about ‘How am I mean because your tablet is dead!?’ And ‘You have no idea how lucky you are!’….it’s just the sad truth. Because it’s frustrating and it’s a sensory overload for me. For both of us. And we both go over the top if allowed. If no one is there to reign us in.

A few days ago, she spilled her science slime on her legs coming home from camp. It was covering her legs and dripping everywhere. Sticking everywhere. I have never heard her so heartbroken and terrified or seen her mind in such chaos. It escalated in seconds and the sounds were what I would imagine were she to watch an animal being killed. It sounds dramatic. It was. I was lost on it. And clearly so was she.

It wouldn’t have helped me to shout at her about how out of control she was. Or to get a grip on herself. Or to tell her she’s being unreasonable. Though the level was getting there. But nothing in the world I could do was going to distract her. I had to drive. She was screaming to stop the car NOW and to help her. ‘FIX IT! HELP ME!’ She was shaking and breathless, with her fingers parted, honey consistency in between all of them. I asked her ‘Are you upset your slime is gone, or is that feeling making you sick?!’Β She wouldn’t answer, only repeated herself. Again and again. I was engaging in some daredevil, eyes off driving on a busy city street at rush hour trying to figure out how to help. Hollering, sweating and nervous as hell. I’d never seen it in my life…not from this kid.

I took into account she’d been independent all week at a camp where her brain was overloaded with experiments and social activity. Five insanely early mornings, 7 hour days, a hundred new people, new rules, and 90 degree heat…starving.

And then I knew exactly how she must be feeling. Frustrated. Anxious. Relieved. Tired and overloaded. Needing help. Needing special care. I know all of those things well and for nearly the same reasons. Every day. It wasn’t about the slime. It wasn’t about being uncomfortable or messy. She just wanted someone to fix it. Someone to, please fix everything. Everything that she was feeling. And now.

As adults we can’t do this. It isn’t acceptable. We can’t cry out. We can’t scream for anyone to help us. We’d look crazy. We’d scare people off. We’d look troubled. Immature. We want to though…we feel it. We’re overwhelmed often, and can’t scream for that special care when we know we need it. And get that help every time. No one can soothe our anxieties for us. We have to fix things on our own. We have to feel better on our own. But a five year old does not have to.

I’m here. We’re a block away. Stay still. I hear you. We’ll fix it’...

…Worked wonders ❀

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42 thoughts on “Gah! Tears!

  1. Yep πŸ‘..
    It’s all about what you say and how you say it.
    Parenting can be tough..
    But if you learn to use special approach to every situation … accordingly to your baby… you will win everytime

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s bringing the chill level back down for me and her that I’m workin on!

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Yep! I second this. Who ever wants to be yelled at, told they did something wrong? Support and and kindness wins every time. It is NOT always easy, and sometimes the best thing to do is just laugh (at the situation – not your child) by pointing out the funny in the situation. Most things in the moment are nothing a week out, and I try my best to keep that perspective. Deep breaths help too. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Right, lol. It’s never much a week later. I get hung up, though, that things will become habit and that just makes me more anxious. But…it’s never so. (Far as I can tell yet 😞). It’s hard too, to see them in such emotional distress and you want to help and they dont want it…want it…dont want it. I always feel like saying “But thats why I’m here!” Lolol. Lemme helllp! Boy oh boy. Never a dull moment.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Well said….
        Always about the approach

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sometimes parents forget that children are small PEOPLE. They have thoughts, feelings, anxieties, hopes, fears…etc..everything adults have. Maybe not the same level but they’re there.
    You got this, dad!!! πŸ’ͺπŸ‘ŠπŸ‘

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I forget it often during being in the mix of KidWorld…but they are often suffering from the same confusing things we are. Sad it starts so early…Thank you! 😊😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is sad. They should get more time to just be innocent. On the plus side, kids are super resilient! Also, don’t expect yourself to be perfect. No sense carrying unwarranted guilt. You’ve already taken the biggest step by recognizing and validating her feelings.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Thank you so much 😢 This is all new to me with her. Her sister conditioned me over many years to react a certain way and….they are just two *very* different kids 😧

          Liked by 3 people

  3. N’yaw….Softie! 🀧

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Usually when my daughters would act out it meant that OTHER people were being “mean” to them or not “including” them in activities. One day my daughter and I had a talk. She finally said, “Mama, you don’t understand. At school the children are mean, but I have to put up with it and I have to still try to be nice. When I get home I am exhausted and then all of my frustrations come pouring out and unfortunately, you receive this.” Now, she said this in more “simple terms” as she was around 3rd grade at the time. BUT the message was… usually when they act out it is because they don’t feel like they have any friends/something is going on in the school environment. So, I learned to HUG her when she was like this and THEN ask, “OK, what is REALLY bothering you.” :). Being a fantastic parent is not easy, it sure takes EFFORT! You’re a loving Dad, a good hug and she will hug you back and everything will be A-Ok!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. And that’s absolutely true. Home has to be her release of her day πŸ˜” In her case its following rules all day, soaking up tons of information and noise and expecting a lot of herself. Holding it together in other words. When she’s home and safe, she lets fly. I get so frustrated and then I’m thankful she’s not an Eddie Haskell at home, then being a jerk to everyone at school. I’d much prefer her be a jerk at home! I feel awful saying that cause 90% of the time she’s amiable, kind and works through things really well. When she starts internalizing her day and doesn’t realize it…Boom. Thank you so much πŸ˜ΆπŸ™„πŸ˜Š

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Keep in mind that YOU need to teach her to communicate that she had a bad day instead of allowing her to just “act mean.” It’s work. I had to teach my daughter that it was OK to be angry, but then she had to say, “Mama, I’m warning you, school was HORRIBLE today and I am NOT in a good mood.” I told her if we had good communication THEN I would know she wasn’t being mean to me, but that something bigger was going on… THEN we could discuss HOW she could learn to deal with her feelings in a positive way when she got home. Parenting = effort. :). GREAT JOB in wanting to be a good parent.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I don’t think she’s having bad days or ‘acting mean’ . She has epilepsy and only started mainstream schooling in the fall. Everything is new for her including being away from me at camp. Or ever. She’s only been too overwhelmed from the new independence and crying the past few weeks which is very out of character for her. Luckily she usually wants to talk before these moments ever happen. As does her 15 year old sister because they have always had that environment.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. By the way, I’m sorry to her your daughter has epilepsy. One of my childhood friends had epilepsy and we were always on “red alert” to call her Mom or an adult over if she should have an episode. They explained this to us, so that we wouldn’t be afraid. We were your daughter’s age and this certainly gave us more compassion for her, like sisters looking out for each other. πŸ™‚

            Liked by 3 people

  5. ouch that’s rough! Little kids can have *such* big emotions, especially when they don’t know how to process them or express them. I like the graphic you posted that shows that to say instead. I had a similar thing in teacher’s college. It might also help to create a calm down corner she can retreat to when she’s feeling so overwhelmed. Some blankets, some pillows, stuffies, maybe a book or two, or some really quiet toys or stress balls. A place she can go to when she needs a break from it all and then when she’s ready to come out and talk it out.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s funny you should say that because her and I are very similar and…our whole house is kind of a calm down corner! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Strictly comfort and things that make me happy for that reason, and her room is her own private retreat with all her favorite things. Nice and quiet with lots of hideouts and tons of stuffies. I made her lava bottles last year too…that kind of stuff. But…she’s a talker. And when she’s lost for words she melts down. Once we figure stuff out she’ll go chill for hours.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Aww that sounds like a great room for her. She’ll eventually find the words. I know it’s tough watching her go through that. The kids I take care of do the same thing. The older ones do have a better handle on it, but the 7 year old just completely breaks down.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. That’s about the age!….2 and 3 just don’t compare! Cause now they can tell you *ev-ree-thing*. Loudly. Often. Repeatedly. πŸ™Œ

          Liked by 4 people

          1. I’m more of a β€œanything over 5 is fine” type of person. That’s why I love the family I work for – the 7 year old is the youngest.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. I love the littler ones cause they still think I’m cool at that age πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚…I’ve yet to convince any child over 10 of the same!

              Liked by 3 people

            2. haha! Well I just got told by the 12 year old that I’m β€œa child in an adult’s body”. I’m not sure if that means I’m cool or not, but I like it haha

              Liked by 3 people

            3. I think that’s a good thing πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Did you see Clueless…

              Liked by 2 people

            4. I L-O-V-E clueless! Movie or tv show.

              Liked by 1 person

            5. The movie. When a kid tells you you’re a child in an adults body it’s probably a positive but me, I picture when Tai tells Cher “I don’t know why I listen to you anyway. You’re a virgin who can’t drive…” with a sneer. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ ‘That was harsh!’

              Liked by 3 people

            6. HAHA! I love that part. I love it all.

              And just as an aside: you’re right, season 7 Parks & Recs is bananas! But I do like that Tom’s bistro is thriving.

              Liked by 1 person

            7. Same! I loved how Ron always stood up for Tom and his ingenuity….it was good to see him succeed. But to erase Ron and Leslies friendship basically negates the whole show. I cant imagine anyone not being upset about that. And the less said about the flash forward thing the better. Triplets…it all sucks. Never happened! Lolol

              Liked by 1 person

            8. Lol im only on episode 3! But yes the triplets? Lame. Ron and Leslie fighting? Lame. Everything is lame.

              Liked by 1 person

  6. Well yeah, once you think you’ve got it figured out they throw you a curve ball. It’s the Kid Conspiracy πŸ˜•πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Can’t let the adults/parents get *too* comfortable 😈 πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yesssss! Let’s play Can I Make Dad Cry. 😭😭😭

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have 3 adult daughters, so just to let you know: it never stops! πŸ™‚ I had a drag out with my middle one yesterday. They continue to push buttons, call when they want stuff (sometimes only), cry/whine and act completely unrealistic and silly. Admittedly, at times I’m not much better at handling things now than when they were young; it depends on what’s going on with me at the time. Hey, I’m human. I do the best I can and generally I can eventually rally and talk reasonably. We never stop being parents! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly. They learn alongside us no matter what we’re all going through! I asked my friend Kelly who has two similarly aged kids, “when does it get better?” She said “it doesn’t. It gets much worse!” 😭😭😭 It’s all in stride and relative to the *last* thing though I guess, lol. I feel like I was *too* young with my oldest to have the needed perspective that I have now. And she was the guinea pig, ya know. She’s an amazing kid after a lot of struggle so something went right somewhere. Feels like two different lifetimes though!

      How are you doing?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am really great these days, thanks for asking. 😚😚

        Liked by 2 people

        1. πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€— I’m so glad to hear!

          Liked by 2 people

  8. I knew I was missing something….it was the compassionate hair tousle. Haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Girls…. They are quite dramatic at times. Parenting is not easy . My boys (6 and 19) are so easy going They are rowdy and joke around but easy. My daughter on the other hand (who by the way is 18) has had so many emotional melt downs I can’t even count. In fact she had one just Sunday. And all I could say was “you got this” you can do it, you are a strong and friendly girl ” of course not only was I trying to convince her that staying in the dorms at college is going to be amazing adventure, I was also trying to convince myself. Sometimes i wish i could have some of those melt downs. But I am not sure who would be there encouraging me…. Lol so maybe that is not a good idea. I’ll just continue to spill my emotions into writing so the whole world can see. Lol good luck raising that little girl. I would like to encourage you and say it will get better but mine is 18 and I still day “don’t worry, I’ll fix it”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Lol! Dramatic is the word but big feelings are big feelings I guess😲…I’m just sweatin through it with them half the time! My oldest has three years before shes off and running to dormhood but I think out of all of us she has the best handle on things 😭😭😭

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Parenting – the hardest job in the world ! It’s hard not to become a 5 yo in response at times, isn’t it. Good luck with it all. And thank you so much for the follow. I appreciate it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is!….And I’m not always successful at that part! Thank you so much. You and I were connected on my old page but I shut it in May…started new πŸ™„ Happened to see a comment from you on another page.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Really? I totally missed that. My bad 😦 Thanks for reconnecting.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes but it was quite a while ago! Like April, lol. And you’re welcome 😊

          Liked by 1 person

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