Monday, May 17, 2010

Solving a problem in 'pretend'

Sometimes you just want to be heard.  Even if your complaint or problem can't be solved you simply want someone to listen and respond to it.  Children are no different from grown ups when it comes to this.  Even if we can not help them or solve their predicament, much of their angst will diminish if/when we simply listen.  I often find myself in this position in the car.  The call comes out from the 'way back' that a crayon or stuffed animal has been dropped or someone is thirsty.  Instead of saying too bad, I can't help you right now...I try to first of all appeal to their problem "I'm so sorry about that" "That's a real bummer, you were right in the middle of your picture" and then offer them a solution in 'pretend.' "If I had a refrigerator in the car and could get you a drink what would you most want?" "What if your bear came alive and could jump back up in your lap?  What else would you do with him if he could come alive?"  They are funny conversations but you may be amazed at how they defray frustration.  Your child will feel 'heard' and sometimes that is a bigger 'need' of your child than the item they are asking for!

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