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  • Robbin McManne

It was the WORST of times, it was the BEST of times

Updated: Nov 21, 2018


I’m always aware that life can change in an instant. I never take that for granted but the fact is you can’t plan for it, so life goes on! Well, then the unexpected happened…

At the start of the summer, we took some time to go up to a beautiful resort town about 4 hours outside of the city. My husband had work up there so I was able to spend some quality time with my boys. We put them in camp for two days which was a win/win because they love it and it gave me some down time to relax, go shopping , maybe even have a massage…… I was practically levitating when I dropped them off, filled out the waiver form, and blew them kisses goodbye.


The worst thing happened

Just as I left the parking lot, a strange number called my phone. I answered it and it was the camp! They said that one of my boys was hurt badly and they needed me to come. I didn’t think it would be too bad until I got there and saw my boy Parker, and his mangled knee. I figured it was dislocated by the look of it (*cringe*). I had the staff call an ambulance since I didn’t know the area and certainly didn’t feel comfortable driving with my son in agony while trying to navigate.


My son was handling the pain well, stayed calm at first (that must have been the shock) but when we were almost at the hospital, his leg started having muscle spasms. He was screaming in pain. Poor kid, it was so hard to see; I felt horrible for him. All I could do was remind him to breathe and hold his hand while he squeezed mine. Thankfully we got into the treatment area right away and the doctors sedated him and put his leg back………but not really.


Parker, totally obliterated his knee; it wasn’t dislocated at all; his injury was much worse. The ER doc tried to explain it to me but honestly, I didn’t really absorb the information or the severity. What I did absorb is that they couldn’t treat him there and we needed to get him to Children’s Hospital back at home which was 4+ hours away. This meant we had to leave first thing in the morning. Farewell down time, relaxation calm; hello stress and panic!


When we got to the hospital for surgery we had to wait almost 24 hours. Because of the surgery, Parker couldn’t eat and the hunger and boredom was too much for him to bear. He had a complete meltdown.


There was a time when him expressing himself this LOUDLY for all to see would have triggered me and I would have tried to immediately calm him down…and if that didn’t work I would have tried to snap him out of it with logic and reason. But this time, my husband and I just empathized with his pain and frustration and instead of scolding or judging him, we gave him the space he needed for his emotions.

That moment of support led to one of the biggest payoff as a mom I’ve gotten in years!


The best thing happened

When he calmed down much later, he turned to me with leftover tears in his eyes and said, “mommy, can I have a cuddle?” I jumped in that bed so fast I can’t even tell you! I don’t get a ton of chances to cuddle my 12 year old so I was all over the invitation!! We cuddled for a bit and then he fell asleep in my arms for an hour! I got to hold him and love on him like I haven’t been able to (or allowed to) in years. For this mom who will do almost anything for a cuddle, it was bliss!



Here’s what I know, had we not been able to show him compassion and understanding for his big emotions and frustrations, he wouldn’t have felt safe enough to be vulnerable enough to ask for a cuddle. To me, that is beautiful and it’s moments like this that I live for. We gave him the message not just with our words, but our actions, that we are here for him and yes, it’s ok to feel your feelings and that he has parents that have created a safe place for him to fall. If it wasn’t for all the work I’ve done in the practice of Peaceful Parenting, I know that scenario would have ended up quite a bit differently. He has a long way to go to heal this injury, and will have to miss out on his beloved sports for the season, but we will be there for him every step of the way.

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