Years ago we were fortunate to work with one of the best attachment/trauma therapists in the country. In one of our earliest visits, it became clear that I’d gotten something backward. I had become so focused on correcting the offender that I’d neglected to comfort the wounded.
There was a lot of conflict between the children and Russ and I were doing our best to reign in the challenging behavior in an effort to protect the little ones. In doing so, we were focusing too much attention on the offender while the injured child was left to tend to himself with minimal comfort from us.
I’ll give you an example.
One evening Russ was working in the garden with the kids when he got a phone call. He told the children that they could play for a few minutes. One of our children was not happy about this and began to interrupt him saying, “Dad, stop talking, we need you in the garden. There is nothing to doooooooo….” He gestured to wait and be patient. Finally this little one had had enough, so she proceeded to walk over to her little brother and pinch him.