At one time or another, we’ll all probably experience something big in our lives, whether it is a hurricane, another natural disaster, or something else that wasn’t expected. We don’t have to wait until our children show signs of distress to try to help them. There’s so much we can do as things are happening and immediately after to lessen the impact of those experiences.
When we start to connect with our children’s stories- both through the telling and by listening in a different way to what they’re sharing about their stories- we open up to a new kind of relationship with our children. Sometimes the storytelling really helps a child to sleep more soundly. Sometimes transitions during the daytime get easier. But, new possibilities for understanding and changing behavior patterns almost always begin to emerge.
It isn’t a miracle cure. It isn’t a quick fix. For most families, it would take about 3 weeks to see a big change in the sleep patterns from using the story telling ideas we’re presenting. Interestingly, it is about the same amount of time that it takes using cry-it-out to change a sleep pattern without the negative consequences to the brain and the relationship.
Beata, 2 ½, had always been a restless sleeper. It was a challenge to get her to sleep each night, and once asleep she would burrow herself into the side of one of her parents. She woke up screaming inconsolably from her naps each day and many times at night, as well. Sleep training was something that her parents decided they did not want to do, but Scott and Beth were tired. More than that, they knew that Beata was probably not getting a good night’s sleep, either.
It seems that sleep-deprived parents are given two choices: cry- it-out or just wait until they outgrow it. But is there another way? Was my son’s lack of sleep more than just an inconvenience? Was he trying to communicate something to me through his night waking?
The baby was only 3 days old when I received the phone call. It was from a dad and I always know I’m working with a great family when dad is on the phone for the new mama who needs breastfeeding support. And it probably also means that they’re in distress.
The new baby girl, Sofi, was chomping at the breast every time she’d nurse. I knew this meant that mom was in pain and that the baby wasn’t getting much milk (or colostrum, which is the first milk), either. I started asking questions about the baby’s birth.
Everyone wants to find peace. Everyone wants connection. But sometimes that’s just not our family’s reality. Maybe our reality is tension. Maybe there are disagreements and fights. Maybe we find ourselves disliking being around our child or the disconnection just feels bad to us and we want it to be different. Or maybe we’re overwhelmed. So where do we start when we’re far from a place of love, ease, and joy? How can we begin our journey to this seemingly elusive place?