Finley is my spirited' child. Came out screaming and cried louder than any other baby we knew; even the cranial osteopath couldn't get his hands on him long enough to help in anyway. He seemed to feel desperate to communicate or desperately misunderstood. He's grown up showing signs of being pretty smart, clever, and, I think, possibly unable to deal with what he learns about the world and his own emotions. We've always struggled with his temperament: some days we were happy and breezed through the day (not a regular occurrence) and other days we felt like we were walking on eggshells (especially as he got older).
He's now 5, and we started the SleepTalk®, about 8 or 9 months ago. I came to do it because I was starting to worry that he was really imbalanced emotionally, and worried about what he'd feel like growing to teenager and adult. I was also worried sometimes about my own state of mind. Other people noticed it too. He's a lot better with others and a lot worse at home, but sometimes things would happen in public: he'd hit me at the park, or he'd scream so loud and freak out so extremely that people would just stop and stare in shock. We have a very loving, very stable home life, with both parents around a lot, but we've always also struggled with discipline. There's been a lot of him hitting us, having meltdowns, and really irrational behaviour. I know he's just a kid growing up, but it was worse than anything I was seeing with my friends and their kids. As for me, I would often become angry to the point where I was losing control, where I would be crying because I just couldn't take it anymore. To the outside world, people think I'm very calm and that Finn was a bit challenging but a lovely boy. But at home, sometimes it just felt like too much.
So, how has Sleeptalk® helped? At first his behaviour worsened, but as Anne had warned us of this we stuck with it. During the day I found it much easier to set boundaries and stick with them rather than feel guilty, and over a few days I noticed things were improving. I started to notice he was beginning to catch himself before he lost it by suddenly noticing a "beautiful sunset" outside over my shoulder. It was subtle things like this, but I felt he was starting to learn how to deal with his emotions better. The decision to get absolutely firm about his discipline was also much easier. I used to be wracked with guilt if I disciplined him in the past, but knowing he was now receiving unconditional love sub-consciously made it easier to set our boundaries.
We'd talked through a strategy with Anne: if he spoke to me in a rude tone = time out, if he hit me = time out, if he ignored me too many times = timeout. On a couple of occasions, he still kept pushing so was sent to bed without dinner, and that's what seemed to crack it. After two days of this stronger discipline, I noticed his behaviour was MUCH better and he was generally MUCH more balanced. Of course I still slip now and then with the discipline, but these days he rarely has to go on a time out.
Recently we have started doing specifics and I was shocked to see that literally the day we started working on his behaviour and lashing out he got loving with his teddies and insisted on taking one to the park with him and kissing and cuddling it!!! NEVER has he done that before. I think SleepTalk® could seriously give troubled children (or in fact all children) a chance at a healthy, balanced out look on life. It takes time and you have to stick with it, but I look at Finn now and see him growing into such a bright, smart, happy, little boy and I don't feel any concern about his future. We are closer and our relationship has a great depth to it.