Plum was crying because she made a mistake while practicing scales on the piano. Me: Plum, when you encounter a tough situation, I want you to be tougher than the situation. Why do you cry when you make a mistake?
Plum: Well, when I make a mistake, there is liquid in my eyes and I have to get it out. If I don’t get it out, it will build up until I cry again. And then I will have to cry extra hard to get everything out.
Me: Humm…. I suppose you do have a point here. I don’t want you to have liquid built-up in your eyes. I certainly don’t want you to cry extra hard to get everything out in the future!
In this case, she let the liquid out of her eyes, took a breath (and a few minutes), then tried her scales again. This time she played fluidly. She also taught me a lesson on managing frustration and finding emotional outlet. I learned to acknowledge her frustration, honor it, and let the emotion run out of her system.
Sometimes parenting is as straightforward as letting your child teach you how to be her parent!