Have you ever had a situation where you have gone through something traumatic and your child seems to have ‘picked up’ your feelings . Maybe after the event you notice a change in their behaviour or they seem fatigued or distanced. Below is a simple way that you can help your child process trauma or difficult situations – either their own experiences or other peoples’
Our story: ‘Healing Mum’s Trauma’
I had an implant and Luca (8) was in the waiting room. This conversation took place 4 days after the event.
Jennie (Mum): What’s the matter? You don’t seem right today?
Luca: I think I have caught your dentist time. It has got stuck in me and I can’t get it out.
Jennie (Mum) : Oh dear, I wonder how you could let go of that. Could you draw or paint it out?
Luca: I don’t think I can let go of it because if I let it out it will smash.
Jennie (Mum): Why would it smash? What does this thing look like?
Luca: It is like a rock in a tube.
Jennie (Mum): Become the rock. What does it feel like to be the rock?
Luca: Well, I am made from lots of different things and trying to protect myself
Jennie (Mum) What are you trying to protect?
Luca: My core.
Jennie (Mum) What does it feel like to be your core?
Luca: I’m a pebble.
Jennie (Mum) Why are you trying to protect your core?
Luca: Because then I won’t feel any bad feelings.
Jennie (Mum): Is this about me going to the dentist
Luca: Yes, I think so.
Jennie (Mum): Maybe it’s OK to feel those feelings. Maybe you’re processing them for me. I had a little cry after the dentist. Maybe you need a little cry too. Perhaps you felt my pain.
Luca: Yes, I think I did.(looking weepy and as if he is trying to hold in tears)
Jennie (Mum): It’s ok to cry. When we have a hard shell things can hurt us and puncture us but when we are soft, sharp things can’t get through. They still touch us but they just go ping, we go ‘Ah’ and they fall to the ground.
Jennie (Mum): After all the softest membrane is the strongest of them all!
To read more about this way of working with your sensitive child and how to heal or help others heal by embracing the power of vulnerability please read my book ‘Be the Feeling’