My daughter Ruby has often been a little wary of dogs as she isn’t in close contact with them very often. One morning while I was out a friend and her dog Mickey came over to visit my husband. My husband told me how Ruby was in her playroom at the time so didn’t realise Mickey was in the house. Mickey went into her playroom, and Ruby immediatly came out and started pulling all of her toys, and books off the coffee table, in a very sulky manner.
My husband picked her up and asked her ‘‘did Mickey give you a fright, and she burst into tears, and cried for a few minutes.
By the time I came back she was showing no signs of being afraid, and she was playing alongside him very happily.
My husband told me the story, and I was so glad that he was able to look beneath her off-track behaviour, and find the deeper reason, rather than simply tell her off for making a mess.
It was a great reminder of why when our children do something that we could label as bad behaviour, it’s really them telling us, that they have some upset feelings. If we step in and listen, they don’t need to tell us how they are feeling by tearing the place apart, and making a big mess. They’d actually rather just cry in our arms and get all of those yucky feelings out.
Later when we were getting ready to go outside for a walk, Ruby gave Mickey a little stroke. They were becoming friends.