Sunday, November 30, 2014

Day 85- My Child vs. Others (Point of Comparison) Part 1

In these series I will be walking the point of comparison with children. 

The first time I recall comparing my son to other children was when he was about 2 months old and he was making these steps when I picked him up straight and placed him on the ground. I remember feeling so proud that somehow this showed that he will be an early walker (I later found out that this was a reflex some babies have when moving their feet and has got nothing to do with walking). It was then that it began the idea that just because I am a teacher I will be a very good parent and that my child will be exceeding in all developmental areas. So while I thought his reflex was something special I had this proud feeling within me that my child is doing very good in developing gross motor skills and that him being an early walker would somehow represent ME as I am doing my job as a parent (that reflected the role of a teacher). I even thought he was going to skip the crawling stage and move on straight to walking. Eventually he did crawl and then walk- and he was an average walker as he started at 11 months and mastered it by 12.5 months.
Another thing that pushed me on the early walking thing was my mom telling me that I was an early walker so for some reason that meant that Victor will be too. I felt a bit frustrated when he was not walking yet at 10 months. This was all subconscious as I was not very aware that I was experiencing this comparison. It felt “normal” playing the teacher role because that is my job and since I worked with toddles/infants prior to becoming pregnant- I gave myself the credit that I knew what I was doing because I had the experience which gave me a point of comparison to Victor and to what I have seen at my work (at the time). It's interesting because since working with Pre-K now I catch myself having projections as to what my son will be like in Pre-K in comparison to the children I teach now.

Another development area I was comparing my son was/is fine motor. At first he had no interest in picking up a marker/crayon/paint brush so immediately I was worried that he will not be developing his fine motor good- so I kept pushing him to draw and he kept rejecting it which of course created a frustration within me. Now he loves to draw/paint and the comparison has moved from: “he will be terrible in fine motor” to “LOOK my son is good (or where he should be according to the stages of child development) at fine motor”. And of course I am happy for him but again my starting point is in comparison to others and in that it is like showing off.
Basically I notice now that the point of comparison comes from my experience with the children at work (past or present) which means that if I see a child who is not where they are supposed to be, misbehaving, not cleaning up....all the negative things I have seen/experience with children I have reflected it to my son and set it as a point of comparison- is my son like those children or is he developing his skills “good” (whether it is in fine-gross motor/ social emotional, types of interests, how he plays, cleaning up, sharing, giving well developed answers, talking well, communicating effectively). I guess it all come down to how I see a child as being successful or not- because if they are lacking any of those skills they are setting themselves back in certain areas. I notice that I am looking at all these areas mostly as a teacher, so what kind of child is my son and will he be a “good” learner at school or someone who is struggling, giving trouble. As a teacher what kind of students would I like to have in my class- that is the kind of child my son has to be- the type I would enjoy to have in my classroom (from a teacher perspective). 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Day 84- Correcting My Parent Behavior (Part 4)

Continuing from Day 83- Correcting My Parent Behavior (Part 3) 

Today I am finishing the last part of this series.
Continuing from the list of things from the last blog.

Leaving the park or any place that he does not want to leave at that particular moment/not wanting to go to school, fighting me to place him in the car seat:

What I have noticed is that he is wanting to be more independent in the things he does or the things I used to do for him- and if I don't let him try he gets frustrated. So in the situation with the car seat- he has been wanting to put his own belt. Since I saw this I have been guiding him through with it because he really can't click in the belt yet but his determination to try and do is is persistent. For the park, the school, and leaving places he does not want to at the moment- I have been talking to him more about why we are leaving and remaining stable if he does throw a tantrum by talking to him as well as telling him what we are doing next. I realize that my reactions towards these points about Victor have been results from my starting point that I have been walking SF on. And him acting out on these points are also results based on my reaction/approach towards him.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to NOT consider his method of communication with me- that he would be acting out on the first place because he does not have the vocabulary to express what he wants (that is for his younger year) and that I reacted to him acting out from the start because I was not understanding what he needed and I was frustrated and not able to read him/ his needs at the time- thinking that I was discipling him when in fact I did not realize that we were reacting to each other because I was not seeing his way of communicating with me and he was not understanding my words. 

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing this to become a pattern that we played out even when he was starting to communicate with words because by then I had gotten it into my mind that I will be in control of his behavior and will not allow him to get his way, not considering his stages of child development because I was in the moments of reaction towards his tantrums.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Day 83- Correcting My Parent Behavior (Part 3)

Continuing from Day 82- Correcting My Parent Behavior (Part 2)

Going down the list I made for when my son throws a tantrum and my self forgiving my reaction on it.
-Using the toilet:

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have built the idea that my child has to be potty trained ASAP otherwise I am not doing my job as a parent (which is actually a reaction to seeing children who are 4 and still wearing diapers and wondering what were these parents thinking?), thus I forgive for accepting and allowing myself to push my son to sit on the mini toilet when he was 9-12 months (and then later at the age of 2 as he was transitioning to the big toilet) without considering my approach towards him because I had the starting point of “I am going to show all those other parents that children can be potty trained at an early age and anything other than that would be unacceptable".

I forgive myself for NOT accepting and allowing myself to consider my son, his ability and understanding when he was 9-12 months and accepting that perhaps I created a reaction within him regarding using the toilet since I was pushing him to sit and use it when he did not want to and within that creating a bad experience for him in relation to the toilet.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to then pull back from this method/approach and then all of the sudden go full force on him at the age of 2 without considering that there has to be a transition time and still approaching potty training with the starting point of it is unacceptable if my child is not potty trained.

I forgive myself for NOT realizing that the reason he is presenting me with difficulty when using the toilet is because of my expectation as a starting point rather than considering my son and how he develops to approach the toilet and how I can assist him with it rather than push him to it.

I have been practicing a better method with him since my realization- which is to allow him to willingly go and figure out the reason as to why he will sometimes refuse. I have also been practicing the method of talking to him about it and guiding him towards the choice of sitting. Since he is starting to communicate with me better in using his words- he has told me that the toilet is cold. I would have never thought that this may be a reason for him to refuse to sit, which is ironic because I myself don't like a cold toilet seat but I am able to use my hands to sit on them and he is not. Since practicing this approach the tantrums about using the toilet have diminished. Now he just whines at first, and then agrees to sit.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to get irritated because he does not ask me to use the toilet when he needs to but just goes in his diaper.

I forgive myself for NOT accepting and allowing myself to simply guide him towards starting to ask, by talking to him and explaining to him the same every time he does end up going in his diaper.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself NOT to be patient and understand that this takes time as it is my son that needs to show the initiative towards asking and I need to be patient about it and support him/guide him to learning.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to compare children in relation to being potty trained and to judge parents on reasons as to why their children are still not potty trained at a age where they "should" be.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing to understand that children develop at t different pace and that there are more factors as to why a child who is capable of using the toilet would refuse to do so and chose to stay in diapers.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to place a judgement on a specific age where a child should be potty trained rather than seeing things from a practical perspective as to is the child physically able to use the toilet and does the child understand the toilet and what are some issues that may cause a child to refuse to use the toiler, thus I forgive myself for accepting and allowing my self to impose an age limit on my son as to when he should be potty trained.

I forgive myself for NOT realizing that there are actual stages to potty training and that it will not happen over night and that there are many components to how the child sees/approaches the toilet and it is not one dimensional. Thus, I forgive myself for accepting and allowing an idea of what it means to be potty trained by skipping the process it takes to be completely potty trained (out of diapers and going to the toilet by one self when required).

Taking a shower:

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to create and experience for my son where he is scared of the shower. I did this without consideration by rinsing him off just to clean him instead of nurturing him with the water- and I realize my method was not gentle which created a bad experience for him and he is now scared of the word shower and the idea of going under water.
To support this I stopped the showers and we do wash ups under the sink. Also, my husband has been of help as he has shown to me the patience of how I should have approached the shower with my son by nurturing him with the water and not “throwing” him in the shower just to wash him off quickly.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to rush my son in the shower because I felt that I needed time for myself and did not consider what I was creating at the time and how I was not considering my son but thinking about my self which was a reaction towards my husband, actually, because I felt that it was unfair that I took the role of the primary care giver to my son and that left me with “no time to myself” (to which since then I have self forgiven and understood with the help of Sunette).

Jacket and Hat, Shoes and Clothes:

I forgive myself for not realizing that as my son grows up he will want to take the initiative towards putting on and taking off his clothes and that by me trying to put them on him especially as I reacted towards his tantrum about I, I was preventing him from developing this independence of self care. I am now aware that he is wanting to be able to choose his clothing, and put on the jacket, shoes, clothes by himself (even if he is not able to). I have learned and accepted to be patient and wait until he asks me for help before I do it for him.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to rush him and not give him the opportunity because again I was thinking about myself and my time, that we are in a hurry, that he needs to put on the clothes that I pick for him.

I forgive myself for NOT accepting, realizing, seeing that he is becoming of age where he starts to develop the will/ability to do things himself and that I should step back and allow for him to have guided choices, thus he can pick what he wants to where but it has to be practical and according to the weather.

I forgive myself for NOT accepting and allowing myself to see/realize that my son sees me (and everyone around him) and he is in a constant state of learning and that he will do what I do- if I get to pick my own clothes, put my jacket and shoes than he will want to do the same as part of his learning process.

I forgive myself for NOT accepting and allowing myself to consider that his tantrum was his way of telling me because he could not use his words. Since I've backed up and he's started to use his words the tantrums have diminished and only once and awhile for other reasons does he refuse to dress.

I have also been practicing applying a stable voice in talking him through a tantrum when he does have one.

Not getting something that he is determined to get:

Within this I realize it is tied to his development of making choices and I realize that to guide him I need to give him a choice he can pick from, however sometimes a choice is not available and within those times I realize he is throwing a tantrum because he is not understanding why I am taking the choice away from him (this is yet to be developed for him).

I realize that in moments as such I need to remain stable and stick to what I have said to him even if he does not like it.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to see/realize the child development and as to why he would act out regarding things that he is determine to have but cannot have at this moment and within this I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself for approach him with my reaction which is triggered based on my fears and expectations of my son to behave “good” and if he is not then I am not in control of him and thus I am a “bad” parent (basically everything that I just wrote about previously). 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Day 82- Correcting My Parent Behavior (Part 2)

Continuing from Day 81- Correcting My Parent Behavior (Part 1)

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to carry the experience and creating the pattern of reaction towards not knowing how to handle/respond to children who refuse to follow my directions and within that having built a starting point with my son even before he was born of how I will discipline him according to my way/definition of discipline (which is nothing more than a reaction of defense from feeling “attacked” or “disrespected”).

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to position myself in the offense towards the child that has disrespected me without investigating myself, my reaction, or even realizing that I am in a reaction within that moment, because my head is running with thoughts of how to “overpower” the child that is “attacking” me and because within that moment I am unable to consider the child and why they are acting out and that perhaps them acting out has got nothing to do with me personally but rather my approach towards them on the first place to which they are reacting to.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to live “discipline” as power/force/control over another rather than exploring and learning discipline as a living example of stability, understanding, commitment and who I am within the words I speak even if the child is throwing a tantrum, and also to not take the tantrum personal but see how my words/actions/example of stability can become supportive.

I forgive myself for NOT accepting and allowing myself to look at discipline from the perspective of self-discipline before I am able to provide discipline to others/children as an example of myself, thus I need to work on my self discipline as to who I am within the core word/action of discipline, understand /see discipline/self discipline so that I can become an example of what it means to discipline self and another/child.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to manifest/create my fear, where my son will behave “bad”, by allowing myself to react to him from the get go and within that reaction building a pattern for him where he will react to my reaction and once the pattern is created it will become his way of dealing not only with me but also with teachers and other people- and in terms I become responsible for creating the “bad behavior” within him because I did not approach him with stability and example of discipline- where what I thought was discipline (with force) backfires at me and creates the very thing I was trying to NOT create. Thus I realize that approaching someone with force (child or adult) is not the effective way take care of a problem and in terms is one way that creates what I would call “bad parenting”/ a child who behaves bad.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to cope with my reaction by ignoring/ pushing away the child/my son when I know they will react to me and within that I allow myself to not accept self responsibility about my reaction that I have created and the reaction of the child/my son (which is a reaction towards me).

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to cope with my reaction by relying on another teacher (when it comes to work) to “take care” of the problem because I don't want the child reacting to me which ties up to me not wanting to accept responsibility for my reactions and child's reaction to me.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to place myself as a “good” person-someone who is NOT selfish-someone who will not hurt another/ someone who portrays that I have good intentions- and this is portrayed because I am in denial that when I am in a reaction/ allowing myself to exist in a reaction I can actually become spiteful towards another and those traits have shown towards my son/ children (and used to be with other adult people) when I wanted to prove that I am right and that I will have the last word or get it my way just to be right so that I can be the “good” person doing stuff for others out of the goodness of my heart without considering other's position in relation to situation.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to feel bad as a reaction to someone finding my way of being “good” not to their pleasing- thus placing me in a situation where I have been selfish or in a way exposing my selfishness to which I become reactive because “how can I be selfish when I thought I had good intentions” which contradicts with my believe I have created about myself.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing NOT to realize that by not considering other's position in relation to the situation I am in fact being selfish because what I do is with the starting point of showing myself as "non selfish" person- more of a persona- while in actuality I suppress my selfishness by not acknowledging it and by NOT working through it/walking it out so that I can in fact be/live consideration.