She is the proud mommy to little 6-year-old C. who came home from China when she was about 2 years old or so. Their family was eating dinner the other night after a rough day and my friend could just see that C. was “in a mood” and really struggling to keep it together. At some point during dinner, C. asked her mama, “Do you know how some people feed their babies like an airplane?” (referring to zooming a spoonful of food toward the baby like it’s an airplane while feeding them) C. went on to ask, “Do you think you could feed me like that?” and dinner was finished with my friend feeding her big-little girl like an airplane. My friend went on to tell me that as she was feeding her daughter, she could just see the tension from the day melt out of C.
What a beautiful example of re-parenting and of a child who is learning to rely on their parent to help them regulate their emotions! Imagine if my friend was less in tune with her daughter (or didn’t have the knowledge to know what C. was really asking for) and had instead told her to feed herself like a big girl. They both would have missed out on a great opportunity to teach and learn trust, self-regulation and attunement.
How is your child asking for you to connect and parent them in a close, attuned manner?