My 5 years old son has a croupy cough and the day started with us having a fight over him not wanting to take his vitamins. Later, he asked to go outside to play. It is a cold and frosty day and I didn’t want him to get really ill again as he did a few weeks ago, so, of course, I asked him to put on a coat. When he refused I got angry and started using fear tactics. I said he would surely become really ill again and possibly end up in hospital as his sister did when she was little.
My son’s response was to throw a massive temper fit. I just walked away as I felt so angry and frustrated while his older sister came to calm her brother down.
I knew the way I had handled the situation was wrong and wondered how it could have gone better; after all, I just wanted my son not to become more unwell.
In the evening we were due to leave the house to take part in a “Lantern Walk” in our community. This time however, I told my son that we would be going out into the cold and suggested we plan before hand what he could wear that would be warm but feel comfortable for him. It turns out that wearing a coat over his jumper felt too tight or at least he thought it would, as he didn’t actually even try his coat on. But, after I involved him in making a decision of how we could protect him from the cold, going out a second time, he was happy to wear his coat over his jumper.
So, what have I learnt from this.
Giving our son “choices” about his life and involving him in discussions about how best to “take care” of himself really works. But, only if our suggestions come from a calm, spacious place, if we are rushed or stressed out we end up getting Nowhere!