Saturdays are busy – I get up early and rush to get my 7-year old daughter to gymnastic’s class. I barely get breakfast into her before we leave. Frustration arises as it’s a bit of a struggle and after she is done she is usually extremely hungry!
Before the last session, I told her I would take her to McDonalds afterwards (as long as I could find parking). As you can imagine, she was excited for the treat!
After gymnastics, I drove to McDonalds and circled around to find parking – I did this three times and found nothing. Expressing to my daughter that there was no parking, she began to yell, scream and cry and say that it wasn’t fair and that it was all my fault. Needless to say, I experienced some frustration with her behaviour.
I resisted the urge to yell back at her and tell her that she lived in a wonderful place where she had food available to her any time of the day and that some other children didn’t even have food, let alone McDonalds. Instead, I simply drove home to the sounds of her anger, frustration of injustice and sadness – all directed at me.
When we arrived home, she started throwing her shoes and running around the house like a crazy person. I went to ask her if she was hungry and wanted lunch and then I stopped…I took a deep breath and just went into my room.
I needed a minute and honoured this fact.
As she kept yelling about how she was never going to eat again, I went to make her a healthy lunch. When it was ready, I placed it at the entrance of her bedroom and shut the door.
After some time, I decided to address her behaviour (once I was certain she had some food inside of her).
I explained that it was absolutely alright for her to be upset, sad, angry and disappointed about not getting the treat that she was excited about however that directing these feelings of frustration at me wasn’t okay. I asked her if she understood and she said yes. I left her to finish her lunch feeling pleased with myself (as I truly had wanted to yell back at her in the moment).
A little bit later, my daughter called to me to go to her bedroom – she had made a sign that stated “love you so much” and included some candy for me. When I went into her room, she apologized for acting badly and gave me a big hug.
She totally got it!
Am thankful I was able to remain calm in the midst of my frustration and help her learn a valuable lesson in feeling her feelings and looking at what they meant.
Above is a photo of a couple of the signs she made (and the candy).
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