I so wish I had the benefit of a perspective like this when my kids were little! This profound wisdom from Patty Wipfler, the founder of Hand in Hand Parenting, might have made weaning so much easier:
Actually, all of my parenting could have been so much easier if I had understood that sometimes crying was a signal that my child needed my help fixing a problem (like hunger or physical discomfort or a need for stimulation) while other times, crying was the remedy itself.
When no problem was evident for me to fix yet their crying continued, my children were simply asking for my compassionate presence while they released the static that had built up in their nervous systems with a good cleansing cry.
But I thought I wasn't doing my job well if they were crying, and tried even harder to soothe them and get them to stop. What a relief it would have been for me to hear that the best way for me to help at those times was just to stay and warmly listen while they poured it all out.
What a comfort it would have been to know that when I needed to say No to something in order to preserve my own sanity, like night nursing for example, I could say that No, and then lovingly listen to my child's protest for as long as it took to run its course.
And that furthermore, this kind of compassionate listening would strengthen our bond even more than the night nursing they were so upset about giving up.
Now that I've gabbed on and on about it, here's the link to the article again:
I'll be curious to hear what you think of it.
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