How's it going with my adopted son? That's a long slow road, but we are on it. How has the internal work I've been doing with him impacted our family? Here's a scenario from yesterday concerning Pooh Bear. As the baby and only girl of our family, she's not so interested in growing up and handling things herself, so we're working on those skills.
She's been involved in a camp this week and missed Thursday when the camp t-shirts were given out. We searched through the leftovers, and to Pooh's horror, the smallest size was an adult small. She's about the size of an orange oompaloompa, so the enormous shirt will not flatter her on performance day. She pitched a nice fall-on-the- floor-in-a-heap-crying-fit when she imagined herself on stage swallowed by a mass of powder blue cotton.
Pooh Bear:"Mommy! This will make me look awful. Can we go somewhere and find other sizes?"
Me:"Miss Kim sent us here to look. Since these have the camp name and date, I know they are the only ones like them around town."
Pooh Bear: "I'll feel so stupid wearing this in front of everyone! It will go to my knees like a dress, but it's supposed to be a t-shirt. Find me a new shirt!"
Me: "Wow, honey. You sound mad! And look, you're crying. Are you sad too?"
Me:"I don't have anything to do with the t-shirts, so you'll have to tell Miss Kim you are mad or sad that there aren't anymore your size. See what she says."
Pooh Bear: "I can't do that! I don't know what to say."
Me: "That's easy. Miss Kim I'm so sad, because the only t-shirts left are way too big for me." The lights are on for me. I knew if I didn't make her say this to Miss Kim she'd have stewed all day and taken it out on the rest of the family in grumpiness. It's where unresolved anger goes for her and really anyone else.
Pooh Bear: "I can't!"
Me: "I'm sitting down in this chair and waiting until you tell Miss Kim what you are upset about."
Pooh Bear tried to whine to me about it, but I refused to interact with her. I looked straight ahead with an accepting face. She moved onto Miss Kim. She spilled tears, and I saw the two embrace. Miss Kim looked with great compassion at Pooh Bear, and she suggested that we try to shrink it in hot water. Mr. Randy said she could sleep in it as pajamas. The change in Pooh Bear's demeanor was instant. I could literally see relief and peace come over her, and she practically skipped to our van with the giant shirt hanging from her arm.
Oh, this letting children solve their own anger in the moment is powerful. I could have said those same things about shrinking the shirt and pj's with much less effect. She found resolution and peace with the person with whom she'd lost it.
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