My beautiful son has had ongoing issues off and on with bathing - he doesn't like to get wet, he becomes afraid of the water, and he won't take a bath for weeks, which turn into months...We wash him with a washcloth, but it really really isn't the same. And I've found really only one way to get that hair clean. The bath.
Mostly we sort of don't know what to do about this - it has abated in the recent past, and he took baths willingly and happily - until I took him swimming. And then because I insisted on washing off the chlorine and washing his hair that night, he freaked out again and hasn't taken a bath since.
So it's been awhile, and his hair was starting to get not only sort of heavy from not washing it, but also there was some sticky stuff in there causing it to tangle. So today I said enough and called time on the bath. I told him about his hair and how we wanted him to get clean. I told him it was really the only way I knew to get his hair washed, and I told him we were going to do it tonight.
Kiernen replied, "No, Mama, I don;t want to take a bath! I'm scared of the water."
I tried to find out wherefore came this fear, to no avail. He would only repeat that he was scared of the water. I remained calm, I intended to hear his feelings and find a way to give him a bath without him freaking out again. After all, he has done this in the past - this has previously been a fun thing for him. We have all sorts of fun little water toys for him to play with in there.
And I had the brilliant idea to tap. For anyone reading this who isn't familiar, I'm referring to EFT - Emotional Freedom Technique.
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is an emotional, needle free version of acupuncture that is based on new discoveries regarding the connection between your body's subtle energies, your emotions, and your health. EFT has been reported successful in thousands of cases covering a huge range of emotional, health and performance issues. It often works where nothing else will.
I'd used it a couple of days ago when we were talking about the bath previously. I tapped on him, saying, "Even though I'm scared of he water, Mommy and Daddy love me very much." And then, "Mommy and Daddy will be there for me, they will keep me safe. I've had fun playing in the water before - I played with my boats and my turtles and I had a lot of fun. Baths can be fun, I remember that. I could take a bath. I would be safe. Mommy would be right there with me. It could be a lot of fun."
He asked, "Me?" as I began to tap, and I let him know that yes, we're tapping for him. Meanwhile, MBD was downstairs getting the bath ready.
I did the very same thing this evening. When I finished, he needed to pee, so I got his preferred potty for him. When he finished peeing, he said, "I want to take a bath."
Off we went down the stairs. He willingly took off his clothes and then he even climbed into the tub with no help. And he got to playing with his toys like he did this all the time. I talked a bit about washing his hair while he was playing, and he said no, he wanted to play, so I said, "Okay, when you're almost finished with your bath, we'll wash your hair. Remember, we need to wash your hair to get out all of the dirt and that sticky stuff. But you play now, and I'll come when you're finished and wash your hair."
And at the end of the bath, he was fighting and protesting and beginning to cry about washing his hair, and since he was worked up, I did surrogate tapping on myself, making sure to speak clearly so he could hear me. And do you know, at the end of it, he picked up a cup and poured water on his own head. It was amazing. We got his hair washed with his help, and no tears, and then we whisked him out of the tub and got him all dried off. And all went quite well.