My little boy Kian was struggling during his transition to kindergarten. Every day I picked him up to be abused. He kicked me, bit me, and pulled my hair. It was nearly impossible not to get mad, followed by frustration, because nothing I said was helping him. It was a daily full hour of distress, hitting and screaming until finally, he calmed down out of exhaustion.
I love challenges; that is why I create Mukupati. I was thinking and thinking and decided to try this: I stopped all after-school activities like martial arts and soccer. I kept swimming because it may help him to relax. I changed his bedtime from 8.30 pm to 7 pm. To my surprise, he fell asleep at 7 pm after reading and turning the lights off (It helped that it was winter). Then, since I wasn't rushing from school to other activities after picking him up, I brought whole-food, hearty, low-sugar snacks and parked the car at a quiet place under a tree. When I picked him up next time, I did not get mad, I did not force him to walk. Instead, I opened my arms, and while he was pulling my hair in distress, I softly kissed him while very softly repeating to him: "I am here, my boy, I love you. I am here with you, I love you." Almost immediately, his body relaxed. To my surprise, he calmed down and could eat his snack under the tree five minutes later. We spent some time talking about the day or at the playground for free, unstructured playtime. Finally, I was available and aware.
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We kept repeating the same routine for around a month. I was always ready to receive and accept his emotions without reaction. Fully loving him at that moment. It took a lot of self-control, but the results amazed me.
Three months later, we are getting back to soccer. He can regulate himself much better at school when I am not there, and when I am near, I am ready to support, hug, and let him know I am there for him. Now I know that is all it takes: Be available and aware without judging anything. All it takes is loving him.