Lately there have been many big conversations that have been taking place between Af Violet (who's 6) and myself. Last week was a really wise and eye opening one which I would like to share so perhaps others can soak it up too....
The last two nights it had taken Af Violet over an hour to fall asleep. I took a gander and guessed that it was because we had a conversation which divulged the fact that I am usually the last one to fall asleep and it seemed she was trying to hold out and prove that She was the last one to fall asleep most nights- which was what she had guessed to be true prior to that conversation. Well, I wanted to bring it up before it was close to bedtime to see if I could gather some honest/real answers and avoid having another long awaited period before I could go to sleep.
me: Af Violet, you have been staying awake for really long periods of time the last couple nights and you're not falling asleep as quickly as you normally do, do you know why?
Af Violet: well since you fall asleep late and I thought you fell asleep when the book light would turn off I keep having to check for the light to be on and it's keeping me awake.
(Umm what? OK).
Me: So do you think that you're trying to stay awake since we talked about how I'm usually the last one to fall asleep.
Af Violet: NO! (defensive much).
From here things went a bit astray, with pauses of Af Violet fiddling with other toys and moving her energy all around....Have you ever noticed how kids do that? They don't want to feel in trouble or 'bad' and there brain is needing to process the emotions and information so they must move! Totally normal behavior, however it sometimes helps to redirect to gain some focus and see if you can connect, reword things and move forward.....
So...after a bit, we were talking about how I know she is asleep based on her breathing. Again she got really defensive. I used the example of hearing when dad falls asleep. How we can hear his breathing change. I treaded quite carefully because I could tell she was being triggered here. Finally I said, "It's like you don't want me to know when you fall asleep. What's wrong with me knowing when you fall asleep."
She avoided the question some. I asked very gently again. She gave a superficial response and was holding big emotions in. I asked again. (And by the way I stayed in my Lovespace the whole time which made this flow so much more easily. It's how I was able to Hold Space for her to open up). She burst into tears saying, "I don't want you to know everything about me!" sob sob sob "I want to tell you about me. I want to tell you who I am!"
Poof. Boom. Explosion of ah ha. Light bulb moment.
Me: That's It! We figured it out!
BIG HUGS all around! Connection and love expanding as the moment continues!
We were able to get to the root of what was making her upset. She doesn't like that I know so much about her. And she enjoys sharing herself with me and teaching me about Her! We talked more about it. I pointed out that sometimes I will still point out things I recognize, especially if I think the awareness will help her, but from now on I will leave more space for her to tell me about her first. I will ask questions. I will listen.
Since that day, there has been only once when she has pointed out that she wants to tell me versus have me tell her, and it regarded me not listening to how important it was to her to have extra tissues in her bed. We have used this conversation as a marker for how we want to connect and dive into things when either of us is feeling bothered for some reason that isn't clear at first.
It also was the first time she embodied the understanding of finding the deeper emotion, or the root issue. (Which was so amazing to feel and see)!
During our conversation, I said, "There, we found the root issue," to which she responded "The core. The one that's deep inside." Profound is all I can say!
Cheers to deep conversations with children and those we love! Have you had any wise and deep conversations with your littles lately?