“Go pick your bedtime book, right now,” I told my four-year-old. Afternoon meltdowns had turned into bedtime battles, and I was tired. He returned clutching the book Glad Monster, Sad Monster and curled up beside me.
His body began to relax as we read about all the things that made these monsters glad, mad, sad, and scared. “Did you have big feelings today, like the monsters?” I asked. Big nod.
“Do you need extra hugs tonight?” More nods. When he couldn’t quite tell me how he was feeling, he found a book that could speak for him — and that helped me give him what he needed.