Monday, August 12, 2013

I Miss Home

We are on the second leg of our trip and we are staying at a friend's beautifully decorated arts and crafts style home in Minneapolis.  Each room has tiny treasures from years gone by, woodwork detailing that is the definition of character and, to my son's great dismay, radiators.

He is terrified of radiators after several stays at my in-laws old home in New Jersey.  The bedroom that he slept in had a very loud radiator that hissed and clicked through the night creating many a late night crying jag.  Even though this experience was almost two years ago, he is still hanging on to a fear of radiators.  When we walked into the house, he noticed none of the toys, games and snacks our friends had laid out for him.  His little face just crumpled in fear when he saw the radiators.

"David?" he said to our friend in a shaky voice.  "Is that...a radiator?"  Our friend gently explained that yes,they are radiators but they won't turn on in the summer time. "Yeah but I really don't like them.  They really scare me.  Do all the rooms have radiators?" he asked, still trying to keep himself from crying.  "They do but I promise they won't turn on," David assured him.  This of course, did not dissuade my little boy.

I took them to the bathtub and the radiator questions continued.  Finally I asked him if there was anything else going on.  He broke down in huge sobs saying, "I miss home!  I miss my star curtains!"  I did my best to hug him while he was sitting in the tub then settled on stroking his hair.  "I know, baby.  It's hard to be in a new place," I told him.  And then he did something interesting.  He started trying to solve the problem himelf.

"I know!  You can sew star curtains for me for this room.  That would make me feel much better," he suggested.  "Well, I can't sew new curtains tonight but maybe we can look for the stars outside your window.  They are the same stars you can see at our house,"  I said.  "Okay!" he said as he wiped away his tears.  "And maybe I can just imagine a train going round and round the radiator so that I think of trains instead of scary things."  "I love that idea," I told him.

It can feel so powerless when your child is sad.  There was literally nothing I could do to change the fact that there was radiators and we were not at home. But my son found a new way to think about the situation on his own.  He shifted gears and started problem solving on his own.  It reminded me that sometimes all you need is a new perspective.

How do you help your kids get used to new surroundings?  Do they adjust well or do you often have to help them?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kate! I have a quick question about your blog! My name is Heather and my email address is


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