Putting on socks for some children can frequently be a challenging experience, and for parents dealing with this situation, one of the most misunderstood frustrations of all times.
“Ow – no – they don’t feel right – stop – it’s twisted – it’s too tight – it’s lumpy – it hurts”
Opposition overheard as a sensitive 3-year-old gets help with his/her socks?
Well …I wish I could say that, but …actually …I have to confess …that was me.
Now that my very dear husband has been needing to put on my socks these days, it seems I’ve turned into an overly sensitive three-year-old when it comes to that time of day.
At least I’m sure that’s what my husband thinks.
But to all those young children whose socks just never feel “perfect”, I totally get you!
And to all the parents (and one husband) who so patiently try to get it right, bear with us.
We’re truly not trying to be difficult. We need you to just proceed slowly, no yanking or stuffing. Take some deep breaths before helping, remember which socks work best, and make sure the heart (I mean the heel) is in the right place.
And try to focus on our other most positive strengths, mine and the other sensitive, sock-challenged children in your lives, to get you through.
I know this won’t last forever.
Now that I’m at home – nursing my “new hip”, after falling on the ice a few weeks ago, I have a new mantra to embrace.
“Up with the good”– “down with the bad” is the message I need to remember as I face steps and obstacles on my way.
Step up with my “good” hip – step down with my “bad” hip.
I believe this might also work as a perfect mantra as we parent our children – or nurture any relationship. Let’s “up” our positive acknowledgement and response when our children are cooperating, being helpful, generous, agreeable.
All too often, when dealing with our children, it’s the annoying behavior, the nagging, the whining, the frustrating actions that get in our face, and thus, most of our attention – our negative attention.
So try my new mantra with me – “up with the good” – “down with the bad”. Sincerely acknowledge and respond, play “up” when your child is showing you his positive side. Play “down” your response to her uncooperative side.
That way we’ll all grow stronger together.
A parent asked me the other day, “how can I stop my child from pushing my buttons?” I asked what she meant and she said, “he never listens to me – he’s always testing to see what I will do.
Well, this mom probably figured out the answer to her own question – “testing to see what I will do.
Janet Lansbury, Child Development author and Specialist, says children can get stuck in “testing limbo”. When they are stuck, “they are aware that their behavior annoys, and maybe even infuriates the adult caring for them. Testing is a child’s way of signaling for our help – and requires a clear and immediate response.”
Lansbury encourages parents to give their child what he/she is looking for – a simple, direct, calm limit/direction. Will the child still have a strong emotional reaction when we do this? More than likely – so we acknowledge with empathy that we understand how our child is feeling, even as we help our child follow through with the request.
This parent did think she asked her child to do things but on second thought, realized she asked and didn’t direct and often gave up before following through. And so the testing limbo continued.
It’s food for thought, isn’t it?
The beauty of it is we can be both direct and calm in our request and kind and empathic to our child – meeting our needs and answering our child’s besides.