The Solution: Give Her Five
“This might be a sign your child is trying to heal from an enduring upset (maybe one that took place at school), but the morning rush gets in the way,” says Schore. Two good ways to remedy issues: Carve out five minutes of what Schore and Wipfler refer to as “Special Time,” where you set aside one-on-one time for your child to do anything she wants with your support. “When the five minutes are over, give a hug and promise more tomorrow,” Schore suggests. Or, start the day 30 minutes earlier than usual if she has a big reservoir of feelings that are triggered often so you have time to listen, either while at home or in transit.
Why it works: Because it gives children the connection they need from you right up front; your listening ear eases their anxiety. Whether it’s five, 15, or 35 minutes, “the point is to hand the child the reins of the relationship for a period while we learn what’s on their minds through play,” Wipfler explains. “For many children, Special Time in the morning can transform their whole attitude,” says Schore.