I hope you're doing great.
We are pretty darn great ourselves. We are!
I just went back and read a couple of the dark posts I wrote this spring. Looking back, I still find them useful. I mean, I teared up as I remembered how low I was feeling, but I think that the wisdom I found to share is still valid.
You can scroll down and find them if you want, but this week's post is to update you because I got a chance to reflect even more. For months. And with lots of new learning under my belt.
Just a quick recap: when school stopped indefinitely on March 13, 2020, I knew I had a big job to do.
No longer would I send my child to school where qualified people would prompt him to read, write, learn science, add numbers, see other kids, receive specialized therapies, etc, etc.
I would have to do that all with him.
So at first I tried. I tried really hard.
And it was good.
But the expectations never stopped. They just kept becoming more and more with virtual school and isolation and me and him and him and me.
I thought I had to keep up with all those things. I thought he needed physical therapy, speech therapy, fine motor therapy, reading, writing, getting outside, and everything all at once.
Truthfully, he benefits from all those things.
But I could not do it all.
And I felt like a failure.
Do you know what he really needed in those times?
It was really only one simple thing, and, in my despair, I put on the back burner.
It was love.
It still is love.
Know how I know?
Because I am focusing on that now.
Love and connection.
I was so frustrated with feeling frustrated with him and myself, that I started reading this book called Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids by Dr. Laura Markham.
In all honesty, I am not even done with it yet. I will finish it at some point, but I already feel like I have made big changes in our relationship. Big changes where we laugh so hard together everyday.
We snuggle genuinely.
We kiss and hug.
We talk about things.
The biggest thing I have changed is my mentality. I am focusing on our connection.
Our life is no longer about what I want him to do or what other people want him to do. It's about what he wants to do and how we need to do it so he learns best.
Before you think I'm raising a spoiled brat, I assure you, I'm not. Just the opposite. He is polite. He is becoming patient. He is becoming independent. He is becoming more helpful.
He is truly amazing, and so is our relationship.
I have changed my mentality from dictating my authority (and getting frustrated when it doesn't work -- which it doesn't on a daily basis), to observing him.
I pay attention to what he is doing in the moment when I need him to do something else. Then I use what he is doing (or wants to do) to motivate him to do what I need him to do.
It is life-changing for us both, and it is truly beautiful.
I would recommend Dr. Markham's book to any parent. Or even any non-parent who wants to relate better to other people in general.
She also has a website called AhaParenting.com. I just checked it out. What I like is that she divides ideas for coaching your child into the child's age group, so you can read what applies to you now.
However, I'm a real sucker for brain development talk, so I like to read from the infant stage on. I try not to dwell on all the times I screwed up when B was a baby (cuz I was really stressed out!) because people's neurological pathways are always changing with the input they are given.
It only took a couple months for me to notice big changes in how he responds to me. He puts more trust in me and enjoys doing things to help me out -- sometimes without being asked! I mean, what a miracle!
In turn, I am more peaceful with myself. More creative to troubleshoot (because that's a huge part of parenting) and more patient to wait for him to respond in my favor on his own accord.
That is seriously magical.
I'm all for it.
Well, hey. Thanks for making it this far down the page. Here's a cute pic of my Wee Man wearing Grampa's glasses a couple weeks ago.