Feelings and Needs 101 for preschoolers and their parents


Yesterday when I told our daughter we were on the way to the doctor, I was expecting some screaming and crying.  Since the first time an ENT removed wax from her ears, she's yelled, cried, and entered every doctor's office with hands clenched tightly over her ears.  
She naturally struggles with transitions from one activity to another.  Changes in routine can result in tears and fear.  I sometimes struggle with meeting her need for understanding and predictability and my need for ease and cooperation.  It is tough to know just when and how to break the news to her when we are about to do something she doesn't enjoy.  
I was shocked yesterday when she said, "I don't want to go the doctor."  I figured she wanted to be heard and understood so I replied, "I hear you really don't want to go to the doctor."  There was a pause of silence.  Then she said, "we are going there to keep me safe."  There weren't any tears, I was able to walk with her, holding her hand into the office.  I would say that the effort of creating and following through with printing a copy of my first book for her is paying off.  I look forward to encouraging more of our practice with feelings and needs language.  It was so heartwarming to see her understand and relax in a situation that brought her fear and anxiety before.