#SOL17 – Day 12 – Liam in Distress


I think I have already shared that one time Kieran asked, “Why is Liam always sad?” I asked him what he meant by this. Kieran explained: “He never smiles. That means he’s always sad.”

I took the opportunity to share with Kieran that Liam’s (and his dad’s) face wasn’t always aware that how he felt was supposed to be reflected on it.

So, while I wrote yesterday that Liam didn’t really care (or mind) that we were away and that we had a new family member, he actually did.

As he got older, any time that Liam was stressed, or upset with how things were going at home (like my being away at a conference, or at night class too many times in a given week), he showed it at school.

We got a call soon after returning home from Ethipia. Liam was acting out in school. He wasn’t being flexible. He was being more sensitive and crying more than usual.

It seems that every time I got one of those calls, there was something going on in our home. I would often explain to the teacher the situation, and even apologize for not being there for him or intervening before the call came.

Eventually, I learned to share in advance if I would be out of town, or if something was changing with our routines or schedules – to give the teacher a heads up, so that we would be on top of his feelings, even when he might not have been aware of what was upsetting him.

I’ve also learned through these times that Liam is quite sensitive. While he may not “seem” to notice changes, or absences, or stress at home between family members… he may not verbalize his thoughts or feelings about it, but he is aware – quite aware of all that’s going on around him. And he feels just as strongly about things as any of my other kids. He just shows it in a different way.

10 thoughts on “#SOL17 – Day 12 – Liam in Distress

  1. Being atuned to our children is one of the keys to unlocking parenting them. The hardest part for me is not too take on their emotions with my own. This is still something I practice everyday. However, I wouldn’t give up the knowledge it brings.

  2. What an important thing for all of us to remember! We have family, friends, and students who seem to be so resilient and be able to take things in stride. But often, they are internalizing emotions, and sometimes can vent or act out through ways that are unrelated to the source of the discomfort and anxiety. Your piece about Liam is a gentle reminder for all of us.

  3. Each child is different and has unique needs, as you so wisely note. Liam and his siblings know that your love is constant. That’s what matters in the long run.

  4. YES! We see so much at school that could be easily explained by asking what is going on at home. I often feel that if the parents aren’t sharing it is because they don’t think it is any of my business. I love it when they share first.

  5. Again so many universals to take away from your specific experiences. We all need to be aware that kids are observing and feeling our stress. Slowing down to notice the feelings of those around us would make sure a difference in our world. I am really loving this series Aileen. You have so much to share and you do it with such an authentic voice.

  6. I have learned so much about parenting from fellow parents through the years and your blog posts have certainly opened my eyes and heart. Happy Birthday to dear Liam!

  7. So important for us to remember…”And he feels just as strongly about things as any of my other kids. He just shows it in a different way.”

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