Big Emotions - Sensitive Child
Oh, dear Lord, if anyone saw/heard us at the cinema, please I promise you, I’m not a horrible parent, subjecting my son to torture. Hold on, that sounds very dramatic. But the reality is that in any sort of quieter scene of the movie, you could hear my boy crying: ‘I want to go home, mummy’. We very nearly did but then the story would move on and he wanted to stay. In the end he loved the movie, but it was a hell of a bumpy ride.
So, why didn’t I just pack our things and leave? Well, partly because I kinda wanted to see the flick, I was quite enjoying the popcorn too. But really, it was because I saw this as another opportunity where my boy could be able to feel the fear knowing myself he’d be completely safe. Seeing your child feel fear is normal, but seeing him be paralyzed by it is tough. For me, that is, perhaps other parents would find it easy, like whatever.
I’ve come to the realisation that my boy and I are more similar than I thought. I’m not the type of person who just gets on with things. To be honest, I wish I was a bit more like that, especially living in a society that seems to do that almost naturally. So when my boy gets stuck in a feeling, particularly an uncomfortable one, my instinct in order to empathize with him, is to delve into the feeling. I can’t just ignore or distract him from feeling sad, angry or whatever. I mean I can, but it never sits well with me. The problem with that is that sometimes I get pulled into the feeling myself, and not only is my son stuck, but me too! Epic fail.
I’m working on this. I’m finding a way to sit with the feeling, trusting that once it’s paid its visit, it’ll go and another thought and consequently another feeling will arrive. Recently my boy has not wanted to do certain things, like all kids, but in his case I know he wants to but is too scared. I think being scared is normal and being aware of the risks is an advantage so I tell him he’s lucky he’s got a strong voice in him warning him of the possible dangers out there. However, and this is the reason I didn’t leave the cinema immediately after he got upset, I could see the uncomfortable feelings coming strong whilst watching this film, panic taking over, but then as the story moved on, so did the feelings.
When I saw that happen once, I decided to stay till the end of the movie if at all possible. Most kids around were giggling and not at all bothered by the big giants on screen. My child clinging on to me for dear life with his ear defenders, transfixed and occasionally smiling big when Olaf sang. We got till the end of the movie, he said he had absolutely loved it, and afterwards we talked about all our favourite bits and our not so favourite. I took the opportunity to then explain that normally good stories need big problems for the characters to sort them out, if not the stories can be a bit boring. I think he understood that. I then said that life was a bit like that too; if we didn’t have problems or never felt scared when solving the problems then it’d be too easy and maybe even not as exciting. He didn’t buy into that one I don’t think. Lol.
Anyway, is it wine o’clock yet?