I had an incredible discussion with another #soccermom the other day. The conversation meandered onto the topic of how we infantilize our children these days and how different it was when we were young. We talked about the things we did long ago and more importantly, the character traits and skills we developed because of these differences. We went on to identify some of the ways that behavior has inadvertently carried over into other things that were just silly… How suddenly, not just “coming home when the street lights come on” seems to have carried over into children who don’t use knives to cut their own food at age 12.
And that’s changed our kids… and their behavior… Continue reading This is what happens when we unlock maturity
Last week, I spoke with a client who sought guidance on managing her son’s education. Her son was a 9-year-old and I could hear this mama’s concern about how to support her child and minimize some of the issues she clearly recognized as being control issues. And she was spot on. She had read about “The Nine Year Old Change”: “The special needs of the nine year old are the result of an important change in consciousness that marks the end of early childhood and the transition to a new developmental phase” (from WaldorfInTheHome.org)
As BigGuy started entering puberty last year, I sympathized with her; but I also realized that reading about a developmental stage wasn’t the same as reading about how to handle it from the parent’s side… Continue reading Navigating a new child within my child
BigGuy turns 12 this week. Eleven years ago–just shy of turning one year old–he looked into my eyes for the first time. That’s right: one year old. We were already 4 months into “global developmental delay” hell. He had been flagged with possible mild cerebral palsy and deafness–the latter quickly (presumably) ruled out with a test that showed his eardrum to be working, but couldn’t tell us if the messages between the eardrum and the brain were being relayed and interpreted properly if at all.
Eleven years ago we were roughly two weeks into removing the trace amounts of dairy that existed in our diet (I was still nursing) and rushing back to the immunologist that diagnosed his immune deficiency just a month before. I wanted him to see my son–to see if I was just hoping to see something that didn’t exist or if an objective eye could say that there was change. In fact, there was change; and the immunologist confirmed that the dairy could be the culprit.
BigGuy has presented us with challenges since conception and we spent a lot of years swamped in various developmental therapies, research, interventions–not being a family, but being a therapeutic unit for this small child who has come so far. IT. WAS. HARD.
It was overwhelming.
It was exhausting.
At times, it was very, very scary–because we weren’t sure if he’d ever live independently (which actually didn’t occur to us until a round of tests at age 3).
“So often we parents of special needs children come to live a life that inadvertently becomes defined by our children’s problems. Life becomes a series of therapies and nights of research or online support groups. It’s not intentional or malicious–it’s just how it happens. We never know the delight of the moment because we are plotting the future… what else can we do? Who can we see? What can we give them to help? Who on EARTH can care for them if and when something happens to me (and my spouse)? Will they ever live independently? It’s an organic process for sure. But it’s not a positive one.
“Let me tell you what my son’s challenges have done for me…”
That is an excerpt from the guest post I did called “Let Me Tell You About My Son” over at my friend’s blog, “Unveiled and Revealed“. She has dedicated the month to “Parenthood Perspectives” with each week dedicated to a very different parent experience. I hope you will find beauty in the journey. ❤
Just popping on to wish all of you a Happy New Year. Our family wishes you all things bright and beautiful in 2016. Here we are on Christmas Eve at one of the cleanest and best lit rest stops we’ve ever experienced on a road trip (Post Oak Rest Area on Interstate 57 in Salem, IL in case you’re wondering–and those are my antlers 😉 ). We look forward to sharing our year with you! ❤ (from left to right) BigGuy, Mama, Girly & Papa/Husbeau