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March 22, 2013

Help on Handling a Tender Heart???

I’ve noticed it here and there at home, but I didn’t think too much about it.  After I got a call from preschool yesterday, though, it’s really caused my heart to hurt. 

I can only deduce that my precious Baby A has such an incredibly tender heart.

It usually happens after I scold her about something.  It doesn’t happen every time, and it can be the smallest of things.  Sometimes it’s after I’ve reached “THREE” (using 1-2-3 Magic, which indicates she’s earned a timeout)…and sometimes it happens at “ONE”.

She breaks down into sobs, and immediately cries, “I need a tissue!  Wipe my nose and my eyes!

To date I’ve chalked it up to her having a very strong conscience.  I can remember my mom saying that she rarely had to discipline me; she just had to give me “the look”…or worse, to let me know she was disappointed in me…and I’d melt and straighten right up.  I thought Baby A had inherited that trait from me.

The phone startled me yesterday, mid-morning, a couple of hours after I left the girls at school.  It was Mrs. G, calling to tell me that Baby A had been crying and they couldn’t get her to really stop.  She said that she seemed to be feeling OK, but she wanted to know if there was anything else going on.

[My girls aren’t big “cry-ers”…they don’t fuss very much…and unless they’re hurt, they rarely cry.  To my knowledge, they’ve never cried at school.]

The only thing I could think of was A’s more recent sensitivity.  I gave Mrs. G. an example, and she then told me that A had asked her to read a book to her, just as they were about to begin an activity.  Mrs. G told A that she couldn’t read to her then, as it was time for the class to do a craft.  She said that’s when A started crying.

Mrs. G at first said that A looked OK to her, that she was involved in a structured activity, and she was back to herself.  She called a couple of minutes later, though, and said A was crying again.

I went to pick her up, and she and I went to an early lunch before it was time to pick up Baby B.  She was extra cuddly, but she didn’t otherwise seem upset.

I’ve had a couple of conversations with A since yesterday morning.  I hope she knows this intrinsically, but I thought maybe she needed to hear it expressly…I’ve reassured her that I ALWAYS love her.  Sometimes we all make poor decisions…there are consequences for those decisions…and we hope to learn from our mistakes…but NO MATTER WHAT, I ALWAYS love her.

Thoughts on how to handle this???   

She hasn’t always been this way…in fact, there were times that discipline didn’t seem to phase her at all.  I don’t want to be tempted not to discipline her, but I want to make sure I’m not really hurting her precious, tender heart.

I would appreciate any words of wisdom!  Thank you!!!


Carrie said...

Oh my Mandy, Baby A sounds just like our Little Bird. She too sobs and sobs when scolded (but not all the time ?) and can be difficult to get back on track. I know she is feeling really bad about having disappointed me or her dad and I always tell her that I'm not mad at her, I'm just trying to help her do the right thing. We too discuss that everyone in the world makes mistakes and that is ok. I'm thinking it's just her nature and it will take time and experience for her to work through it. I also think she holds her emotions in and then there is a time when she just can't anymore and the dam breaks and it all comes out. Her sister is the complete opposite, always letting us know her true feelings, but Little Bird is much more quiet and reserved. It breaks my heart when she reaches her breaking point. Maybe I need to talk more about emotions and reactions to things even when she doesn't get to the sobbing part? Instead of letting it build up? I'll be curious to see what anyone else has to say. Did A's preschool teacher have any suggestions?

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Give her a nice big hug from me :)

Seriously, we have a tender heart too - K. But actually C is just as tender when I act "against" his love language (quality time). When they've been all in my face and I need space, I have shouted on one or two occasions, please just go away, and he burst out crying. I, of course, died from mortification.

With K, I've been training her for ages to speak her feelings regularly, like I was playing with that, or Mummy, I'm on my way (when I think she's ignoring me and she is walking very quietly) and just simple negotiation, like, can we do it later? or 5 mins Connor, 5 mins me? so she feels she has SOME power in the exchanges. It's helped a lot with her - I haven't had an A-type outburst (which was very regular) for awhile (of course if Murphy's reading, we'll have one tomorrow :))


what's A's love language? Words? Maybe that's why she's so distraught by the "negative" words

Mrs FF said...

A sounds like me growing up. I didn't mind being spanked or the naughty corner but any other form of reprimand in the form of words or the look and the flood gate of tears come pouring. Wonder what my mama did to make me stop, I should ask her

Cuz I'm the mama! said...

I guess I'm confused? Did she get scolded at school? Or was it the part where the teacher told her she couldn't read to her? I've had several friends mention that age 4 can bring interesting changes in little girls. They don't go as far as saying its hormonal, but almost. Perhaps google that and see what might come up. I think for some .. Once the tears start it's hard to just shut them off. Maybe helping her recognize this (about herself) might help in the situations so she can let the teacher know she's going to need some quiet time to collect herself. Emotions are tough bc we can only truly understand our very own.

Deanna said...

Oh my, poor A!! We have had some serious sensitivities going on lately, too. A is the one who is especially tender-hearted most of the time, and she often bursts into tears when she is scolded. Just this weekend, when M was in trouble, A asked, "Can I apologize for her?" (Awwww...but NO. Ha!)

M, on the other hand, can be quite dramatic and emotional, but not as "soft" as A. I do attribute a lot of it to the age, but I don't really know what to do about it.

If you read or hear anything especially helpful on this subject, I would be interested in hearing about it. : )