This phase, too, shall pass!
If there is one phrase that has helped me more than anything else on my rollercoaster parenting ride, it is this little one.
This Phase, too, shall pass!
I can’t remember where I first heard it. It might have been whilst trawling through endless respectful parenting forums searching for answers or maybe as I read through the plethora of wise words on Janet Lansbury’s blog. Either way, they have been nothing short of a God send. They are my sanity savers.
I remember reading the words initially and thinking “Well, that doesn’t help me NOW! Where are my answers?”
As it turned out, sometimes there are no answers. Sometimes you just have to wait for the phase to pass.
When my easy sleeper suddenly began waking all through the night, I stressed; I was tired, I was desperate. I tried everything. Nothing worked. The phase passed though and she now sleeps peacefully all night through.
When my daughter dropped her day sleep. I worried; how would I cope? How would I get done all the things I needed to do in a day? How would she get through to her evening sleep? I tried everything to hold onto her day sleep. Nothing worked. The phase passed. She no longer sleeps in the day and I can now cope.
When my pre-verbal one year old let out ear piercing screeches at the first inkling of frustrations, we all thought we would go insane (and deaf). I tried ignoring. I tried rephrasing. I tried reminding. I tried preventing. Nothing worked. The phase passed, though and she now communicates using sounds that do not rate so highly on the octavian scale.
When my youngest refused to get into her car seat E-V-E-R-Y Time we had to go somewhere, I became exasperated. Why did everything have to be so hard? I pleaded, I performed circus acts, I insisted, I forced. Eventually, I found a way to set a strong limit. It worked but still she tested occasionally. This phase passed. She now climbs into her seat of her own free will and does up her own straps.
When my strong-willed little one, decided that she would use bedtime to initiate hours of independent playtime in her room with the lights out and just her toy cars for company, I worried. I insisted she stayed in bed – she simply played in bed. I told her it was time to sleep, In her mind it was time to play. I was concerned she was not getting enough sleep. I tried everything. Nothing worked. The phase passed and she now falls asleep quickly and easily after kissing her goodnight.
There are times when my children’s behaviours are a communication of a need not met. It might be a cry out for connection or it could be that they are in need of a clearly set limit. It is, of course, important to explore these possibilities but sometimes, it is about trusting them and trusting the process.
This phase, too, shall pass
Sometimes it is about finding peace with a new norm.
Sometimes it is about riding out a developmental leap.
Sometimes it is about trusting a child to work through things for themselves.
Sometimes it is about holding space for a child who needs more time.
Sometimes it is about growing as a family and finding room for everyone’s growing journey.
Whatever the case may be, when I am feeling at my wits end and I know I have done everything I can to support my child, I stay strong in the knowledge that this phrase has never let me down.
This phase, too, shall pass.
Dear Parent: Caring for Infants With Respect (2nd Edition) ~ Magda Gerber
Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting ~ Janet Lansbury
No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame ~ Janet Lansbury