Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Your results may vary...

I am a big believer in the no quick fixes, no firm answers school of life. I try to look at things from this perspective. I find this to be especially true of parenting. When my daughter is having a "bad day" I find myself looking for an overall pattern that might lead to an answer...

Well today was one of those days. And I am sitting here accessing the situation to the best of my ability and wondering what is going on. I can honestly say I have no idea. What can I do about it? No idea again. She certainly can tell vocabulary wise... She just lacks the emotional maturity to verbalize her feelings. My only inkling of an idea is that it has something to do with the leap she is making in her reading and becoming a more independent person.

It seems as if every major phase in our development can be accompanied by such frustration. Or not. My son has weathered these changes well. Masha'Allah, he seems to be an even tempered boy. My oldest and my youngest are prone to emotional thunderstorms of frustration whenever they are growing developmentally.

I guess my question is, what do I as a parent do about this? DH is inclined to be strict, to set more limits... I am inclined to give more room for error, let more things pass unnoticed... And then I think of the book Kids are Worth It and I try to imagine a way to give her structure and limits without becoming a "brick wall parent" and how to let her make her mistakes without being a "jellyfish parent". I can definitely say that having a six year old is the hardest task I have faced so far in life. And it makes me seriously wonder about my ability to cope with a teenager!LOL

I guess I am just in awe of the whole experience. I am overwhelmed with the sense that I will have an impact on her future and I have to deal with everything in the right way. I pray for strength I pray for guidance, and I just take it one challenge at a time. Subhan'Allah. And people think having a new baby is hard... I tell them "I already know what to do with a new baby! You can't really put a six year old in the sling and walk around until she sleeps, can you?"


UmmZaynab said...

You can't really put a six year old in the sling and walk around until she sleeps, can you?"

LOL I can SO relate to that! We have a lot of emotional issues with my 6 yo who is Highly Sensitive (see as well as gifted with extremely differential abilities which means that her giftedness is concentrated in one area but not necessarily in others. I am watching myself growing up all over again which makes this harder because she is JUST LIKE ME. Not quite as highly gifted perhaps but personality-wise and with the differential abilities, yes. I almost had a nervous breakdown this week because my child who has an advanced vocabulary and is reading on a 6th grade level started crying and fussing over 1st grade level math and couldn't remember how to count backwards. I think she spends too much time with her younger sisters and I think I need to arrange for her some playdates with friends her age so she can remember that she's not 2 or 3 like her sisters are.

Plus we have issues left over from bad stuff learned in Syria (AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!) as well as some bad behavior picked up from a movie they watched (planning a post on that... I know, you're saying "yeah right") and I don't know what else.

So far I've been seeing attitude improvement from spending more time with her and treating her a little bit like a baby in the bad times, a little bit like a big kid in the good times, and having some pretty firm rules and expectations (and Punishments for really bad, obnoxious behavior) when things get rough.

UmmLayla said...

Wow. That HSperson thing really hits the nail on the head! I remember telling people that Layla was high needs when she was a baby. My DH remembers that she was fussy all the time. We noticed it was sensory things for the most part. She couldn't cope with having her head held, or having the sun in her eyes, or clothes that made her "itchy". She is my only child who HATED baby massage!LOL I had a friend who told me to notice these things because her son was like that, and subhan'Allah it was true. A cover over her car seat to keep the sun out was the difference between crying the entire ride or not.

Anyway, I am amazed to see that website since I never even thought about it as a trait... We have even had her tested for sensory integration problems!

I am getting that book ASAP!

We have set more clear guidelines... And I review things before every outing, "Now we are going to Ed's house for dinner, what are the rules?". This seems to have helped. And she is really enjoying her reading lessons right now, so if some other subject gets to be too much I just let her read... I can't wait until she is independent with that, I know she will be happy to sit and read on her own. I just kick myself that I didn't start earlier! Well, DS is starting sooner for sure!

BTW, I would believe the movie thing since I have two little boys running around screaming "flame-on" ever since we rented Fantastic Four!