Sweet M* has been home now for 13 1/2 weeks. It is crazy to look back at the progress he has made. It is also very interesting for me to think back and look at how much my own thoughts have changed about how to best parent M*. I would say for the most part I have always been a pretty easy going parent. I have always had rules, but I don't think any one would have said I was a strict parent. Until now...
M* needs me to be super structured and very strict. This helps him to let go of his need to control everything and it helps him calm down. It makes him feel safe and it allows him to make progress with his big emotions. I have been reading "When Love is Not Enough" from Nancy Thomas because I felt like from week 10-13 we were not making rapid progress any more. But, once again Nancy's easy to read little book has made huge changes with Sweet M* in just days.
By being extremely loving and never loosing my cool while never budging on my rules and demand for respect I have a very well behaved little boy. I couldn't be happier.
The other side of this that I don't completely understand is how this structure allows him to feel. When M* came home he didn't cry a sad cry.. he SCREAMED a pissed off scream. It wasn't until 3 days ago and once a day since that I have seen him really cry a sad cry.
Sweet M* asked to be held after he had been on a time in (time out but on my lap or on a chair next to me) and he cried. He wants to be held like a baby, cradled all up in my arms, he puts his head in the fold of my neck and he weeps. Then he calms down and I tell him that this mommy will not be all gone and I will love him forever and always. He gives me a kiss and hops down and plays so peacefully for the next hour or two. As hard as it is to hear him cry this way it is also precious bc it sounds real. He is really feeling something and he is sharing it with me.
It is so strange when you read these methods in Nancy's books before you have your child home. You think that your kid won't need her methods, but the reality is she nails it and I am so very thankful that I have read her books.