Thank you Laurie for motivating me with your post on Four Something, who writes https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com and Heather Gerwing for her “Four Somethings” for such a beautiful idea. In between I know August has begun but the post is still about July 😊
Something loved was my dayoff with my daughter last week,the 40 minutes lying in her bed and listening to her imagination run wild…It was so relaxing and not the usual part of my day with her. I always think she needs crafty and energetic activities to keep her engaged. But that day she surprised me because Madam woke at 4 am and did not want to sleep… Her antics tired my husband plenty. When I took over around 6.30 am, she was bouncing off the wall. I thought the day was going to be a nightmare. In the end, most of the day was a good because I was engaging with her mentally one to one.
Being a parent is one of the hardest roles we take on in our life, both emotionally and physically. A role where you are second guessing yourself in regard to whether you are doing a good job. One of the toughest stage, as many of you will agree is when they are toddlers.
My child is one of those determined, full of energy being. She is challenging and I often comment on how she is a handful. Then I read this awesome article last week, which has given me a better perspective. Below is an extract from it:
“Like 10 percent of all children, Mackenzie, a sweet, loving boy, is what is known as a “spirited child.” These are the kids we refer to as “challenging,” “strong-willed” or worse — traditionally they’ve been slapped with labels like “difficult” or “problem child.” Spirited children may be more intense, more persistent and more energetic than average. “These kids live life bigger and bolder than other kids,” says Michael Popkin, author ofTaming the Spirited Child. This can mean they’re enthusiastic and determined. But when they’re little, this temperament often translates into behaviour that’s frustrating for parents — for example, a baby who screams when you don’t hold him, a toddler who never sits still”
It’s natural for a parent to wonder: ‘Did I do something to make him act that way?’ But parents need to know it’s not their fault that their child is spirited,” says Sara King, a child psychologist at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax. “It’s just the way that genetics and environment mix up in that particular child.”
Parents of spirited kids can learn how to manage this temperament. And as your child gets more independent, he’ll start doing these tricks to help himself. “Right now it’s driving you crazy,” says Popkin. “But if that child learns to use those traits constructively, they’ll be real assets for the child in the future.”
This is also my something learnt. After reading the above article I realised my daughter is one of the 10% of children labelled as “challenging” “difficult” “naughty”. I realised that I have been part of the label slapping especially with my daughter. Which is not fair on children like these or any other children with any other conditions which make them different to the supposed ‘norm’. Because we already set them up for failures as they cannot meet the supposed behavior of a “normal” child(said with much sarcasm) . I feel me labelling her, might have also paved the pathway for others to “label” her. I felt sad by this revelation.
Raising children like my daughter is hard work and takes up most of mine and my husband’s energy. But after reading these articles, it is no longer going to mentally burden me. As I realise my expectations of her behavior and how I tackle dramas need to change. Because unlike before when she was naughty, I didn’t understand why? and often frustrated, I took her behavior personally. Now I know that’s not the case. This and other related articles provide examples of parenting style that make sense to these kids. For example anger & threat does not work instead direct logical consequence. Practising this in the last few days, I see her listening.
It is interesting like all things in life, change in perspective makes such a difference. It is nothing to be diagnosed, only embraced by us firstly as her parents and to see the world from her 3 year old eyes.
I will finish this with something said, a beautiful quote my husband found and said to me.
In reference to below quote. What makes my daughter, magical and full of life is her social, bubbly nature, her ability to tell stories full of expressions & emotions, her love for music and dancing and her determination to figure out how things work, often painful to us as parents. Her creative play using the not the obvious props and her humour when she mimics me when I’m being serious ” are you kidding me mummy? “😁