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Shark Music Behind Closed Doors

Circle of Security uses Shark Music to help parents explore how uncomfortable feelings left over from experiences from their own past can influence their current relationship with their child and the way they think and feel about parenting.

During a parenting COS-P group, a young mother shared a story about her struggle to make sense of what was real danger and what was her own Shark Music.

As she tells it, her two children (nine year old son and five year old daughter) were playing together in her daughter’s room. They had spent the entire morning setting up a castle and the battle field, putting together dozens of miniature figures – soldiers, mounted calvary, the princess and prince and of course all the members of the royal court. They were having a grand time and getting along quite well in their shared adventure. The mother checked on them frequently, nothing unusual about that.

But after awhile she began to grow agitated because she kept finding that the bedroom door was closed. Each time she would open the door and tell them to leave it open. Her son would protest and say that they needed the floor space to fit all the pieces, and the door was in the way. Out of nowhere the mom was aware of a rising intensity in her body, and felt overcome with anger and fear and rage and had to resist the sudden urge to lash out at her son. She realized she was having terrible Shark Music and retreated to her room where she shut the door and had a long cry.

In the parent group the mom talked about how at first she felt ashamed at wanting to hurt her son. She then shared how overcome she was in that moment with the fear that something horrible would happen to her daughter if allowed to remain alone behind closed doors with her older brother. “I have never been consciously aware of how I have lived my entire life with a fear of what happens to little girls behind closed doors. In my daughter’s young life, I have been vigilant in my efforts to protect her from the harm that I endured. And in trying to protect her, I have intruded on her efforts to explore, to learn and grow and enjoy the world. I’ve been that helicopter mom, always there, hovering, watching, waiting. And what I see now is a child who is overly self reliant, protesting any involvement or help from me.”

This was a painful realization for this mom. But here’s the good news. Because she was able to recognize her Shark Music and reflect on what was happening for her, she didn’t lash out at her son. And she now recognizes how her past fears are currently playing out in her relationship with her daughter. And with this deeper understanding, this mother now has a choice to do things differently the next time she hears her Shark Music.

I invite you to share with me your comments, reflections, Circle stories and individual experiences with facilitating the COS-P and in your daily life. Your submissions may be used in future blog posts, with all identifying information excluded, unless you specifically request to be identified. Contact me at deidre[at]circleofsecurityinternational[dot]com