« 5.3 The Story | Main | 5.5 Prayer »

5.4 Activity with Your Children

One way to help children feel really heard, especially young ones, is to write down what they say. It may be angry feelings, or sad ones, or a tirade about bedtime rules. There is a power in seeing it validated by being set on paper. It has permenance on the page, and that frees your child's heart up for new feelings to come in.

Once I had a friend whose little boy was jealous of the new baby. So his mother invited him to express it while she transcribed. He proceeded to dictate a horrific plan involving putting his little brother in a bag and throwing him in the river. She was shocked to hear him, but she carried through and wrote it word for word. The anger seemed to land on the paper and stay there. Her older son heard his own feelings and was able to let them go. The jealousy issue lost much of its strength.

I have seen this happen in myself. I tell John how upset I am about the dishes, and he listens without judgement. The dishes are still there, but I am less upset about it for having simply been heard.