Saturday 4 May 2013

How do I help her find her voice?

Loving this picture of Miss E but not so much of me!

I'm having some fun and games at the moment with one of my twinnies.  She has always been as good as gold; a really obedient little girl, eager to please and very loving. Now things are changing and that's OK, I knew she had to grow up, she has always been 6-12 months behind her twin in the development stakes, she does things in her own pace and she gets there. So whilst Miss M was a right pickle this time last year Miss E is now having her day.

However it would be too easy to just say that Miss E always follows in her sisters footsteps and that we expected that she would rebel and test boundaries at some point but actually I think my little lady is trying to find her voice and she is not quite sure how.

In the last couple of weeks we have had more and more naughty or acting-out kind of behaviour. First it was general cheekiness or backchat and then she would not go to sleep when I had my ladies bible study group over, then it was pulling some border off the walls in her bedroom when she knows we are moving and it is important to keep things nice. She then moved on to taking all my nail polish and hiding some and using half the bottle of polish remover to try and hide the evidence that her and her twin had been 'playing'. The final straw came yesterday when I found she had been pulling apart the foam covering on the trampoline and had pulled a chunk out of a foam tennis ball. All silly little things but when added up together seem to say a lack of respect for her things and authority.

They all ended up in the bin, hopefully that will teach them not to meddle anymore!

As I sat there and mused how unlike her this is, I started to wonder if she is a bit stressed. We have had three teary, screaming tantrums in the last three days - not like her at all and it has got to the point where I could see she was out of control and had no idea how to sooth herself. I know that helping your children come to terms with their emotions is so important, so I really must learn how to acknowledge how she is feeling and help her to verbalise what is happening for her. If I'm honest it is all too easy to laugh as she does this tantrum thing as she gets in quite a state and it is quite comical to watch, but I know its not helpful as laughing just says that what she is feeling is not valid and of course infuriates her.

Out of the blue in the car today she told me she did not want to go to her new school and I asked her 'why not?'. She told me that they do not have playtime in year 5 at the new school, I of course reassured her that all years will have playtime and not to worry about that. All the fun things she likes now will be at her new school too.

It was the confirmation that I needed, to know that my little lady is feeling a tad insecure inside and whilst she is telling me things are great and she is looking forward to new bedrooms, beaches close by, new friends already made and all the other great things about our move, something inside her is worrying away.

So my question is this?  How do I help my little tender one to be able to acknowledge her feelings and be able to tell me how she feels?

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