Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Stage of Rudy

I've been contemplating, examining, and role playing in my head a lot lately with how to deal with, react to what Rudy does sometimes (lately it has been maybe 1-2x a day). Here was the situation this morning:

(preface to say we were awake at 4:30am - normally 7:30)

Mama was sitting on the floor and Rudy came behind me and peeks around me as Mama says "Where's Rudy" (a game we often play) Rudy then pulls Mama's hair and I gently pull him closer to me and say "Hair is not for pulling, that hurts mama" and then he proceeds to hit, kick and then he will try to bite everything in the near vicinity.

I've tried to think if I need to hold him closer (so he feels safe?) or let him have space and get the emotions out? This mornings situation I think could have been because he was tired (and) am going to try to really pay attention now to the other times he does this now and see if it is when he is tired.

So, Professional AP parents - what would you do? :)

1 comment:

Ronnie said...

You know, when we talk about trusting our kids, we don't always share the fullness of what that means. Perhaps a better catchphrase is, "Trust your kids even when you don't understand."

Let go of the need to know why he has aggressive moments. If you notice a pattern (like the tiredness) and can address it, great, but sometimes kids' emotions just *are*. You don't have to understand them, you have only to trust that there is a reason for them.

I was reading this article just this morning before seeing your post, so I'll share it. I like the idea of creating a space for our kids' emotions, especially the big ones that they and we don't quite get.

For the more practical side of how to intervene, try using fewer words. A simple "Ouch!" as you remove his hands from your hair might be enough, or just hand over something else and say, "Here, you can pull on this."

Hold him closer or give him space? It's probably going to vary from moment to moment, and you'll have to feel your way through it. Big things that helped us:

- Name the emotion you're seeing. "Oh, you're so frustrated." (That's the vibe I get from your story, btw, like he was struggling with impulses but really not liking the idea that he could hurt you.) If he's like my kids, having the emotion named will cause a quick flare in intensity. "YEAH!" mine would wail, and then they'd calm down. Having a word for what they're feeling helps, and knowing that Mom sees it.

- Offer alternatives. "Oh, let's get out the punch pillows," and sit there side by side beating on pillows. Go shred some newspaper together. Do something physical that is an acceptable outlet for the frustration and anger, and do it together (as much as he wants) so he doesn't have to be alone with what might be a fairly overwhelming emotion.