So I’m working from home in my office. I can hear Jessi crying over on the stairs, from what I could hear I think the baby gate whacked her while she was going through it or something? Or maybe she stubbed a toe on the stairs?? IDK. Not the important part. It was pretty clear she had hurt herself somehow.
I did hear Greg initially check on her to see if she was OK but didn’t really comfort her. A minute or two later this conversation transpired:
Greg: Why are you crying?!!
Jessi: I’m not going to tell you
Greg: Then go upstairs then!! Or come sit on the couch! I don’t care as long as you stop crying!!
No asking why she wouldn’t tell him. No attempt to comfort her. No attempt to talk her down. Nothing. I mean he wasn’t full on yelling, but his frustration was clear. And I know he had a headache…but that’s still not how you handle the situation.
When you let your frustration, headache, or other struggles stop you from connecting with your kid when they need your support and understanding, of course they’re going to be on guard and a bit uncooperative around you. I understand that it’s hard and it’s not always possible to contain whatever your struggle is, but you have to do that most of the time and then apologize the few times that you don’t.
When kids are hurt, vulnerable, or upset…they need compassion, comfort, and calm from us to help them balance and learn self regulate. They need our support and comfort to feel anchored, connected, and respected. Each time they don’t get that, that connection and relationship you’re trying to build is broken down a little bit.