Hopeful, guilty, sleepy, that’s my normal three. My daughter jealous, loved, curious, she used to my more excited and silly, I miss that girl, but I suppose it had to end someday. Sibling jealousy isn’t as bad with us as it was in the family I grew up in, but it became the center point of our reality and I hate that so much.
I read Siblings without Rivalry, they use the analogy if your spouse brought home another spouse who used half your stuff, it wouldn’t feel “cool” to have someone new in the family… I don’t know how it’s done in other places, but it seems weird to me that so many kids are so narcissistic (including myself and my daughter, but also most of the preschool) that we never imagine having to share our parents and it becomes such a strain.
There really have been three pairs of siblings I’ve met, in hundreds, who didn’t seem to resent the other sibling. Two pairs had older boys with younger girls, one was an older girl, younger boy, all were close in age. Two were from this country. I don’t know what they did right, or if it was the kids, but despite having read the Siblings without Rivalry book and trying to implement the suggestions, the jealousy my daughter has seems never ending, which is exhausting.
I think I had more patience for her jealousy the first year, now I’m starting to get mad. I’m supposed to be a safe place for her to talk about the jealousy so it has an outlet to not pile up and explode, but it’s getting more and more difficult, because I really find it stupid.
Perhaps it’s a feeling of failure on my part, I did what I thought I was supposed to do and it didn’t work to get rid of this jealousy issue. So either I need to do something else or I won’t be able to control the issue and it will pass whenever it passes.
I hate either, and especially not knowing which.
I don’t like other people’s feelings, no one ever helped me with mine growing up, I’d rather not have to deal with other people’s feelings at all, there is an urge to live in the woods, writing or painting, that I’ve had since growing up in the woods, with no other kids in our neighborhood, that has never left me.
The weird things is that I have friends. It seems to me weird that anyone would want a friend that is reluctant to support them thorough emotional turmoil, but I have a few great, close friends.
Which is why I have a strong belief that true friends are gifts from God or fate, which can not be rushed or shopped for ext. My friends really accept me as flawed, without hating me, or even asking me for more. Their honest feedback and quiet acceptance has been a source of strength and always reminds me the world is not made of my mind, because my imagination wouldn’t have given me friends.
I never though I would get married either, I remember studying for college Physics with a group of girls at Barnes and Noble, one was reading a book about dating, I didn’t criticize her, but I thought the book was pretty stupid as she read exurbs from it. We talked openly about what we wanted from life, I was the most career driven (and now a stay at home mom), I was the least interested in marriage (and the first to get married).
Looking back on my marriage now, what ruined or at least degraded it was we both want the other one to see our point of view, respect our feelings and we both think the other person’s point of view is stupid and their feelings are stupid. Even though we as in love as anyone could be, living with someone for five years who thinks all you view and feelings are stupid can put a lot of distance between you.
An example, I was hurt and felt left out when my husband went on a tropical, international bachelor’s party two months before our wedding, with most of the details still unplanned. He was frustrated that I didn’t want to help him buy the tickets, hurt I didn’t didn’t want to see his pictures when he did come back and pretty much thought it was stupid that I was hurt.
So, it wasn’t a failure of recognizing each other’s feelings, we just mutually find them stupid.
Which explains a lot.
Defiance is not a discipline problem; it’s a relationship problem — he is showing you how alone he feels. Your son is acting like this because he needs help with his emotions and he doesn’t trust that you’re on his side to give him that help. You can change that, with your empathy and connection.– Laura Markham (Getting Strong-Willed Kids To Cooperate without Punishment)
I read an article by Laura Markham a few days ago, “Getting Strong-Willed Kids to Cooperate without Punishment” and pieces of it really struck me as the behinds the scenes story of every relationship I’ve ever had.
The relationship between my father and I, between my mother and I, my husband and I, my daughter and I.
I don’t want it to be the relationship between my son and I also.
My son is 1 now, he is starting to be strongly emotional, he has something taken away, he cries our of frustration of his curiosity, or lack of control ext. when he gets hurt, he tends not to cry. Pain has become emotional, rather than physical, in a major way already.
I think babies have emotions already at birth, but it’s glaringly obvious at 1.
I think that’s why my mom only liked little babies, they love you, you can ignore their emotions (if they have them) and it’s a simple relationship.
I think my mom and dad were really helpless to deal with emotions, which was bad for me because, I couldn’t pick up those skills from either, my husband is also the same or worse than I am, so my children don’t have a good example either, yet!
I’m really optimistic to learn some better skills from the Permission to Feel book.
Over 2,000 schools use their RULER system, so hopefully we will be one more successful one, and hopefully I can be there to help my kids with their emotions someday soon.
I had always thought the individual has a responsibility for their own feelings, and that is probably still true of the adult… but I don’t think it is true for young children anymore. They can’t eat by themselves, they can’t potty without being trained, why would they be able to manage this (emotions) when they can’t manage time, clothing, cleaning or anything else without being taught? I’ve helped them with everything else, but thrust that at them thinking that was the only way.
Even if it is their responsibility, if I could help, why I wouldn’t I help?
I never could before, I didn’t even know it was a thing…
I thought the internal world was like a vault somehow, that other’s didn’t have access to be able to help or be helped, but perhaps the door can open or shut, and just because all I saw before were shut doors, doesn’t mean that is all there is to see.
The RULER is:
R- Recognize feelings from words, faces and body language.
U- Understand our feelings, why they emerged, how did it affect us.
L- Label the feelings with words correctly.
E- Express feelings appropriately.
R- Regulate, not stuff the feelings, but not act inappropriately either.
As much as I notice I have a problem accepting other people’s feelings, I am noticing that I’m doing okay with R-Recognizing,
Here’s a wheel that helps go from a general feeling to a specific one to a mood and back.
Right now I’m furious, because it’s hot, it’s silly, but that’s how I get, and I’m noticing my son gets like that too. We are about to cool off with a shower and water play.
The weather shot up from cold to hot in three days, so it’s not that we can’t adjust, but I wasn’t aware it was happening and it takes me a little while to adjust our habits. I didn’t expect a hot April, but it was 93F/34C yesterday after having been 75F/23C for quite awhile. I checked the weather report, it’s not coming down, so we just need to adjust for it, but I think a steady heat is much easier to deal with than a sudden one, I don’t know, but it feels like our bodies adjust.
It kind of feels a bit better, just saying that.
I suppose that’s how the U in RULER works, it feels like it helps to understand.
I suppose maybe our feelings are stupid, but we still benefit from understanding them and perhaps when you distance yourself from someone’s stupid feelings the byproduct is an overall distance.
I can’t imagine having to befriend all my dad’s illogical feelings, my husband’s extremely quick changing feelings, my daughter’s explosive feelings, and my sister’s depressive ones at this moment.
Maybe it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
Maybe three feelings a day would be a good start?
Right now I’m trying to grow slowly, I’m working on R and U before moving on, so recognizing feelings and understanding them.
Yesterday my daughter was sad I took her dog toy she was hitting me with, then she punched me, I recognized she was sad that I can take her things, I think she feels powerless when I do that (but nor do I care to be hit with things), I didn’t punish her this time and in a way I think it made her feel worse because even her maximum power level of punching me really is powerless to do anything… I didn’t even mind it other than I’m supposed to tell her not to do it…
Three days ago she sat on my lap hugging me and told me “my life has always been so hard.” I tried not to laugh in her face, because I don’t think that’s true, she has always been spoiled with toys and treats, she was the first grandchild on my side… but I try to open my mind to her truth, I am still trying.
Perhaps she doesn’t care about toys and treats, perhaps she has always wanted power and freedom, or respect and mastery, and she has never had those things (maybe a little respect, but not as much control as she wants).
It’s very difficult for me to open myself to her feelings and I don’t even know why.
I’m open to the idea her early life was hard, that’s what drove me to become a stay at home mother.
But I suppose I’m tired of dealing with the sibling rivalry to the extent, I don’t even want to hear that she is having a hard time with it anymore.
I’m over having that problem.
And my daughter isn’t over having that problem.
So, I’m kind of a jerk in that way.
The same way my husband was a jerk I slept on the sofa crying while he was gone and even though that’s my lens, choice, belief, experience, he never cared to extend me a hug in sympathy. Our dog slept with me on the sofa, our dog gave me a hug, it’s quite possible our dog is a better person than both of us in many ways, especially that way. The dog didn’t say, you are right to throw a fit, but she did comfort me anyways.
I guess I have the underlying belief that to offer support for feelings is to agree with the logic or belief that led to the feeling?
This is very murky water in my mind, but I’m going to navigate it, because of the dog.
I feel like I owe to that yellow dog (Canela) to learn that lesson and pay it forward, especially to my son who is starting to reach out for support, I’m not yet ready to offer.
I guess I have the underlying belief that if I could offer support for feelings to my family, I would be obligated to give them as much as they wanted, which in my mind would be much to much for me to endure. That it is all or nothing.
I’ve got to break those beliefs to move forward.
Learning how to support others emotionally doesn’t mean I have to, it means I can, it doesn’t mean I agree with their stupid believes, it just means I support them and accept how they feel in the moment.
This is pretty much day 2 and I’m already kind of exhausted from yesterday, but my daughter’s behavior has gotten a bit better (4%?) rather than (0%) with confinement in her room. I guess I’m also angry, judgmental and lovey.
Thank you readers, it helps keep me accountable to share this publicly, I don’t know why it does, but it does. It keeps me from getting distracted with another book and forgetting that increasing my ability to comfort my kids emotions (and mine) was my mental top priority. It’s my resolution to be less like a robot and more like a dog, to be more of a bitch to my kids if you will, much more.