- Turn the music on really loud. Etienne (and his mama) have been digging Hillsong
- Pray aloud. This helps me stay calm. Truthfully, I pray for myself, so my kids can hear me, partly because I want to see this kid the way God sees them and partly because I want them to know that I can't do this alone and that I'm not just giving them lip service when I tell them to pray all day long. I also sometimes recite bible verses. Your kid isn't going to listen to you lecture right now anyway.
- Snuggle & Swaddle. Again, your kids isn't going to listen to you lecture right now anyway. If you hold them tightly you can help sooth and resist the urge to hit/spank (I'm honest and I know that no matter what The Connected Child may say...this is sometimes almost impossibly hard)
- Blow out the birthday candles. I pull out my coping mechanisms that I use on my laboring patients. Helping your kid (and you) focus on breathing in their nose and out slowly through the mouth can calm the screaming or snotty crying.
- Confess to someone else. Text or call someone that loves you ALL THE TIME and gets what this really looks like. I don't say much. Something like "I'm not okay right now. I don't want to get too angry at this kid"
- Think about the first time you saw this child. For me, I can never ever erase watching an "Auntie" scrub my child's face with lard and a bucket of cold water on a concrete slab. I share this image because it's painful, it's heartbreaking and it's a piece of our history. God gave me that glimpse into my children's life before we brought them home so that in these times of trial and suffering, I can be heartbroken for them all over again. Those tearful memories serve a purpose. Use them.
|"..we rejoice in our sufferings because suffering produces endurance & endurance, character and character hope." Romans 5:3|