I am well aware that my children have already been dealt a very heavy load of trauma and difficult situations. They have seen and heard verbal and physical abuse. They have lost one grandmother, two great grandmothers and dog. They dealt with our separation and divorce. There was the move to Maine, which took them away from their house, their school, their friends, their nanny, and everything they had ever known.
As much as I want to protect them from trauma, difficulty and hurt, it is not always possible. Many times I am conflicted between protecting them as my children and permitting them to take risks. Taking safe risks builds confidence and competence, but sometimes it is so hard to allow children out of the bubble of safety we have created as their parent. I think all we can do is give them the tools they need and a safe place to return to.
We are what I consider a “talking family”. We talk about everything, all the time. When it came to dealing with my children’s traumas above, I spent time – a lot of time – talking clearly and concisely about each incident. I ask them questions and always let them know how loved they are and that we can always talk about anything. And they do, maybe not right away but they always find moments in the car or snuggled in bed with me when we say our goodnight or good mornings, to talk. Children need consistent, patient support. It is important as the adult that I have already managed my feelings about the incident and keep my composure. Staying calm is essential. Also, when they circle back with me in their own time, I always let them guide the conversation. Listening intently, being compassionate and loving. This method has worked for us to manage the difficult times in our pas,t and I really believe it will help us conquer the challenges of our future.
No matter what the issue, I always want to be the soft place for my kids to land, the ear that listens, the hands that help, the shoulder to cry on. There is no more important job for this Suburban Goddess Mom then to raise healthy (emotionally and physically) children.