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motherhood; tweens

    How to handle the big kid emotional swings with grace

    Posted in Motherhood by

    A foggy Fall afternoon walk to the creek is always good for the soul.

    If I can just do this…. mom life will get easier!

    Momming is hard, guys. I used to think that things will get easier, “If I can just get them sleeping,” or “If I can just get him weaned,” or “When they become more independent…”

    Nope. It actually doesn’t get easier. You may get a little more sleep, but when your responsibilities evolve from “basic needs” to “building character” it is next level sanctification stuff, people!! This season is making a demand on MY character, and the responsibility of this can feel very overwhelming.

    When the emotional stages hit.

    My oldest is 10, and hitting a pretty emotional stage right now. When he slams his school book down, how will I respond? When he overreacts and gets angry at his brothers, what is my next step? I will be the first to admit that I don’t always respond well in the emotionally charged situations. I have allowed my emotions to rise up to meet his, I have rolled my eyes, and I have been sarcastic. I have done the “go to your room” thing, and I have done the heavy handed drill sergeant thing. Those rarely work.

    If I stick to my boundaries with quiet, loving firmness and just listen to his frustrations, (whether they seem valid to me or not, they feel very big to him) I am creating a safe place for him to sort out these big feelings.

    I just listened, and empathized.

    This morning we had major frustration over school work, fighting with brothers, and just downright awful attitude. I was irritated and I really didn’t want to deal with it! If I’m being honest, I just wanted to have an attitude too! I wanted to send him to his room for eternity ? But, I looked at his frustrated demeanor and my heart went out to him. It’s a tough season for this little-guy-about-to-turn-big-guy. I made him sit in my lap and asked him for a list of things that were frustrating to him. We took them one by one. We didn’t really solve any of them, but I just listened. I empathized. I didn’t diminish. I said “I know it’s frustrating when you don’t get to pillow fight when you want to, but this is why you can’t right now.” “I know it’s frustrating to have to sit down and do your work, I don’t really want to do mine either, but it’s part of growing up and part of life.” “I’m sorry it’s raining and you can’t do what you want to do outside, what if we did ________ instead?” And that was pretty much it.

    His demeanor changed. He sat down and did his work and stopped fighting with his brothers. Compassion, understanding and validation paired with boundaries settled his heart. Motherhood is sanctifying.

    November 10, 2018