My four-year-old has been going on an emotional roller coaster lately. She decides she wants something, changes her mind, cries about the change, and just generally cannot get it together. I’m sure her brain is just going through some changes that are hard to manage, but man it’s rough for her mom and dad.
The other day she cried or whined about something every 20 minutes from 12 – 4:30 p.m. I was at my wit’s end.
That day, as I was watching her roll around in a ball crying, I thought about what I would want in that moment. Now, my child is not touchy feely. When she’s sad, she sometimes does NOT want a hug, and we respect that. However, as her mom, I can tell when she just needs touch. I tried to lay next to her and pat her back, but she was not feeling it.
Then, she got up and started another tantrum about not being able to get in a certain closet, and was starting to hit me. I looked down at her tear filled face and swooped her up so I could hold her with her head on my shoulder. She melted into the hold, and I rocked her and walked around the house with her for about 10 minutes. I then realized she weighs 45lbs and this was not going to last much longer.
I sat down on the couch, her four-year-old self still all over me, and she melted into a snuggle on the couch. I stroked her hair and told her everything is going to be alright. It brought me back to those sleepless nights when she was just a little baby needing her mama to rock her or feed her before she could settle.
We sat on the couch for 20 minutes or so and she looked up at me and said, “Can I have a snack?” Of course I obliged, and we continued on with the day with a snack and some play time. I could tell in her eyes that things were better. She felt safe and secure.
Our kids have been through so much these last few months. Let’s not forget that sometimes they just need to be held and feel safe and know that it’s going to be alright.
They still need that touch, even if they don’t always ask for it anymore and even if they are almost as big as you.