The Right Way To Do This.

by Lori Dwyer on June 25, 2013 · 11 comments

Teaching little kids emotional coping skills is a difficult task. Especially when those skills are so badly needed, at such a young age.

I always struggle with it. I put pressure on myself and, subsequently, quite often end up kicking up my own arse over the things I’m not sure I’m doing correctly.

I’m not even sure there’s a correct way to do them.

It’s easy to monitor the physical accomplishments, the ones that can be metered out loud. Learning to read. Tying shoelaces. Toilet training. Finally being tall enough to go on the rides at Luna Park.

The emotional stuff is never that simple.

You can teach your kids the words for different emotions, but you never know if they’re able to use those words when they need to. You can build your child’s confidence as high as humanly possible, but you have no way of telling, really, if they’re still insecure.

You can talk to them, explain the world in a million ways. But you can’t be sure they’ll believe you. You can show them the ‘right’ way to cope, over and over again. But you don’t know if they’ll pay more attention to your conscious efforts… or what you happen to do, unconsciously, when you’re not paying enough attention. 

The things you let slip through when you forget you’re supposed to be trying really, really hard.


A play date we had planned with the Chop’s oldest friend is cancelled at the last moment, and he’s understandably devastated.

“Remember when…” He starts to say to me, then his sweet little face clouds with worry and he stops. “No… Let’s not talk about that.”

That startles me, disturbs me in ways I can’t quite articulate. “Why…? Is it because it hurts, talking about how it used to be?”

The Chop regards me seriously. “I’ll whisper it to you.”

He jumps up on the lounge next to me, grabs my face in sticky fingers, and whispers into my ear, loud and wet. “She used to be my best friend.”

All I can do is hug him. “I know. She still is… You just don’t get to see each other as often, is all.”

He regards me sceptically, then disappears into his room to perfect his Gangnam Style moves.

I sit, where I am, on the lounge. I feel like I’ve missed something, like I didn’t do something quite right there.

But I’m not sure what. I’m not even sure I know what the right way to do this is.


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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Confused July 7, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Am I missing something? I don’t get who your boy was talking about or why he doesn’t get to see his friend or why its an issue. Pretty confusing post for anyone who is a new reader.


Areta July 7, 2013 at 5:33 pm

You might need to have another read, I’m thinking. The post states very clearly that he was talking about his oldest friend, and those words even link to a previous post about her. Why they don’t get to see each other isn’t really the main point of the article, so I don’t think it needs to be stated. Just saying…


Hails June 26, 2013 at 2:56 am

There totally isn’t a ‘right’ way to do it – oh how wonderful if there was. Sounds as though you are explaining your socks off, you have sympathy and you are being kind. That is love and is what your poppets will remember and be thankful for.
Many many things in life are difficult (as of course you know) and disappointment is a beast. You took him seriously and listened to him – he won’t find that disappointing.
Hails recently posted…Suzannah turns two!My Profile


Lori Dwyer June 27, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Thanks so much Hails- that was lovely to read xx


Miss Pink June 25, 2013 at 9:31 pm

It’s not you. Not just your circumstances. I think it happens to all of us.
Miss Pink recently posted…The Art Of Being…My Profile


Vicky June 25, 2013 at 7:44 pm

At the moment I feel like I have broken my 17yo daughter. The fact that I have taken her to the doctor, connected with mental health services, doing everything humanly possible to ensure she is ok, eludes me completely. All I can feel is that “this” is my fault.

Motherhood is bittersweet. Doubly so I feel when you’re doing it solo. I constantly second guess everything I do with my kids. And have just about turned myself into a bloody pretzel trying to make sure that they are ok.

All I can hang on to the moments that they inadvertently show me that I have been doing something right.

If its any consolation, after 17 years of mothering, I’m still not sure what the right way to do this is.
Love, light and strength beautiful. From one mumma doing the best she can hour by hour. Xxx
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Lori Dwyer June 27, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Awwww Vicky. Thank you. Though, TBH, I’m not sure if that’s a consolation or not? :p xxx
Lori Dwyer recently posted…Shopping Centers Make Me Anxious.My Profile


Dorothy @ Singular Insanity June 25, 2013 at 5:21 pm

You did just the right thing. The best you can do at any given moment is always exactly the right thing.
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Lori Dwyer June 27, 2013 at 9:16 pm

‘The best I can’ seems to be my catch phrase these days… ;)
Lori Dwyer recently posted…Shopping Centers Make Me Anxious.My Profile


Nicole June 25, 2013 at 1:07 pm


As parents, I don’t think we are expected to know how all little minds work. I know in my case, the more I think of what my babes are going through with their mummy and daddy separating, it could consume me. The last thing we want is for our children to feel unnecessary pain or anxiety. How do we deal with this at such a tender and beautiful age when they don’t have the ability to articulate what it is they are feeling. I think the best we can do is ensure they feel the love and let them know our arms are wide open for all their problems or issues. Never double guess yourself, you act out of love and remember, their is no guide on parenting 101.


Lori Dwyer June 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Thanks Nicole xx
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