We all fall out of habit at some point(s) in our lives. We don’t do it because we are wrong, bad or weak. We do it because we are human.
The main reason why parents don’t reach out to me for support is because of these common self inflicted critical emotions.
Judgment and Shame
I pick up the phone and greet you – out comes the confession.
Parent: We went back to using the sleep crutch.
Eileen: Darn! Oh well, how long have you been off track?
Parent: Well….about six months.
Eileen: Uh oh! Why didn’t you call sooner?
Parent: I was a little embarrassed.
Sometimes it is months, even a year before you reach out. I always wish you had called sooner. By the time we talk your child has happily fallen back into the old habit.
Meanwhile the parents have been in misery hoping (delusionally) that their child would make the wise choice to go back to the solution they had experienced AFTER they did their sleep plan. Back when their child was falling to sleep and back to sleep peacefully and without parental assistance. Remember that?
Here is one I got this week.
Parent: (In tears) I feel so ashamed. I yelled at my toddler and put him in his crib for a time out and walked out of the room. I had to do something so I wouldn’t spank him. I feel horrible.
Believe me, I have heard it all and done most of it.
- So thank you for picking up the phone and trusting me.
- Thank you for showing your child what human looks like.
- Thank you for your willingness to repair and get back into the solutions.
- Thank you for admitting your vulnerabilities to me.
- Thank you for admitting that you crawled into the crib of your toddler and nursed him back to sleep after he had been weaned for over a year.
- Thank you for admitting that you drove to San Francisco at 2:00 a.m. just to get him the #%&* BACK to sleep!
- Thank you for your honesty.