This is a drawing that Winkie did when he was angry. Very angry. Great big angry gashes across the page in circular motion helped him expend some of that negative energy building inside, and when he was emptied, what started off as morose, unhappy expressions turned into downright goofy, happy ones. All in a space of 2 minutes. What a metamorphosis huh??? I agree. And I wouldn't have known to give him a paper and pen to express himself if I hadn't read the book. At first, I had tried accepting his feelings with those simple monosyllabic replies, but that only seemed to incite him further. He seemed to want more of a reaction from me. Then suddenly this idea struck and I took a chance. He looked puzzled with the invitation to draw...and threw me a suspicious look, but I looked dead earnest. And he said...yes, he would like to draw and show me HOW angry he was!
I also invited him to draw how his face would have looked so angry, and he did. And in just under 30 seconds, his countenance calmed, his breathing became more regular and the muscles on his face relaxed, and struggle as he did, he could not stop that smile from escaping. Pretty soon, he openly acknowledged it and smiley faces began to appear on paper too. And we were both laughing together like a merry lot, and it didn't seem like only minutes before, we had a potential disaster waiting to happen.
But of course, the success of each technique is not set in stone. What might work today, is bound to flop miserably tomorrow, and we once again have to rely on our own creative instincts to diffuse an intense situation. But while it works, what it does achieve, in addition to effective result, is that it creates more trust and understanding. Smiles that are shared deepen the goodwill and a value of a light moment is never to be underestimated, right? :) For me, it just gave me some faith as a mother. I felt more capable when my son responded to me. I felt wonderful about keeping my dignity and grace intact, which is usually the first thing to go in a confrontation, at least in my case!
[Crossposted at DMC!]