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Struggling with presence

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  • Struggling with presence

    Can you relate?

    "I'm struggling with my own inability to be present and show empathy to my young children when they are having meltdowns. I want to be able to do this. I know this is the right thing to do. But when the meltdowns start, something in me shifts and all my good intentions fly out the window and I just want to get away from them. I'm not sure how to change this behaviour because it seems so deep-rooted in me."

  • #2
    i struggle with this with one of my children, because his meltdowns last so LONG. they are like marathons! i find myself resisting that deep-rooted urge to say "Stop it! Stop crying!" one of the reasons it is so frustrating to me is because the meltdowns he has are over the most trivial stuff--like, for example, today: he melted down because he wanted me to carry him to the car WITHOUT his coat on instead of WITH his coat on....and the waling lasted for 30 minutes....and i didn't have time to be present with him, because we were already 10 minutes late for a dentist appointment.

    however, when we are not late for a dentist appointment, i have found that, with him, it is really helpful to get right down to the feeling and need at hand, a' la' NVC. he really responds to being heard for his feeling and need and the meltdown just diffuses to nothing as soon as he feels heard.

    support and understanding to you!


    • #3
      It is wonderful that you have found that ability to be present with your son despite the complexity of the situation. I agree, mostly what our children need are the ability for us to listen and validate where they are. To help them know that whatever it is, we are their rock to throw against. It's hard on us but it reaps such rewards. I can see it already with my 7 year old and the trust she has in me.