You know the scene: mother in a toy store with her flailing child on the floor, mid-meltdown. Before I had children, I used to think, ”get it together, lady!“ Now I wonder, ”what’s going on for that child? Is he tired, hungry, frustrated?” May the force be with with you, Mama!
Rather than feeling the impulse to judge the mother or shy away from the crying, or distract the child, is there another way that we can think about crying?
With twins, I’ve experienced A LOT of crying; sometimes two wailing infants at once and not an end in sight because both needs can’t be answered simultaneously. Someone must wait. I’ve had to learn to steel my nerves and focus on the task at hand. At the same time, I am a very empathetic and sensitive person; my heart would go out to them and I yearned to understand what could be happening.
Luckily, I was exposed to RIE when the children were quite young. In RIE classes I learned to WAIT. To OBSERVE. To SLOW DOWN. In other words, TO CONTROL MY OWN IMPULSES, rather than try to fix whatever was wrong. These ideas have changed me radically as a human being, not just as a parent.