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Monday, July 11, 2011

When Older Acts Younger

We are going through the crazy play that much littler kids go through.  It is the typical tornado type play of much younger children when they are having GREAT fun, without the knowledge of destruction that they leave behind.....
Today, I followed a path of mudpies, cups left with water, a trash can lid filled with water, a bucket 1/2 filled with water and bugs and grass, clothing taken out of the closet for a possible "Fashion Show", the badmitton set left out, the hammock taken down, the dishes not done, hair not combed, teeth not brushed, bed not made, MY OWN CLOSET had things taken down, and things put in,  and somebody finally sitting at the computer for "computer time".......All of this was before noon.

It reminded me of my days when the boys were little. But I am not dealing with "little boys", but with a big girl.
Sometimes it is hard to remember that in many ways she is really "Little".... she goes back and forth with this.
Today, she is little....That does NOT mean she is not responsible to pick things up.... but it DOES mean that she is  unaware that her playful bliss,  isn't blissful for me. :) 

We had a serious talk about my closet.... Her reasoning:  "Well, why did you give up your closet it you didn't have any  room and have to use the guest room closet?"  UGH.... LOL  Yes, sometimes she just doesn't get it.
My answer.... "Because I love you; but that has nothing to do with you going into my closet to play." "You may NOT play in my closet."

I went ahead and cleaned up much of the mud stuff on my way to the trash can. My guess is she will not even notice. It has been 4 hours, and she has not noticed yet.  I needed to start somewhere, and I needed to also make sure she didn't get too overwhelmed. 
Some of this is my own fault, as I should have noticed right away the kind of day we were about the embark on, but I didn't.  It is MY lazy Monday.....

I am comforted to know this is just a season.  Anna used to do this very same thing and thoroughly enjoyed her imaginary cookies and baking and fake wood fire and mud pies and all the mess too.  She is much more grown up these days and does not embark on such adventures. :) 

I do know these times will pass, and honestly , I will not miss the mess... but there is only one time to have a childhood...it is when you are a Child and sadly,  much of Alli's childhood was stolen from her. 
So, while, yes, I get abit overwhelmed, I am also thankful that she is PLAYING and IMAGINING, and doing the things she missed out on for so very long.  I am thankful that when I spoke with her about what we are calling "The path of destruction", she came around after a few minutes and understood that she CAN play AND be a little neater. 
This will most likely be a work in progress for awhile.... but I am so glad she is able to go through that stage and we have enough space for her to explore.
And now, I need to go and clean my closet from all of my OWN junk..... LOL

4 comments:

Annie said...

I do wish I could shadow you and figure out how you correct without shaming. Any correction at all - even in the sweetest voice, or via joking - makes Anastasia immediately defensive and angry....suddenly there is NO attunement, only division. I just don't know how to manage it. For example, had this been us, I would have tried to address it via the "back door" anyway. "I see you were playing in my closet; I like a tidy closet - would you please help me put these things away?" And, even then, unless she was in a very good place, she would likely turn on me and tell me she doesn't care what I like; "Go die." The only thing I can ever get to work is to tell her something like, "I'll let you watch TV after you've cleaned up the mess in my closet." But, if I don't have a hook, there's little hope. I can't ever use dinner or food because "not being fed" is such a trigger for her. I know it is my fault somehow, but I don't know how to proceed. I've never had this kind of issue with any other child, as a parent or teacher, so I am flummoxed. Ideas?

Mike and Christie said...

Annie, I don't really have any easy answers. I have a good friend who's bio daughter was much like your daughter. She said that from 13-16 her daughter was nasty and rude for no reason. Her daughter is now an adult and doing well.
I do wonder how much hormones, trauma and mental illness play into these situations.
My sis in law was schizophrenic. Sometimes she would be sweet and sometimes, she'd be kicking furniture and cursing and out of her mind. There was nothing really anybody could do, except love her in the loving times.
Of course that is not your girl's situation...
We had an especially difficult day with Miss Alli today.
I lost my temper with her and I knew the moment I did, it was not going to be pretty.
"OH WHY OH WHY DID I NOT USE MY TOOL BOX!"
I learned that what could have been resolved in a few minutes, took a few hours.
She was instantly in defense mode, and she even lied. It was all in trying to protect herself because I spoke to her very sharply.
What she had done was very wrong....but my correction got lost in my tone and then it was full defense mode from there. UGH

Of course, after she cooled down and I cooled down, we came together and talked VERY honestly. I was really proud of her. She told me things she had never told me before.
I really think she thought we were going to send her to another family.
I told her, there is no other family. It is time to look inside and see why problems are following you! A different family won't solve your problems. They will go with you; and you aren't going anywhere! You are our daughter!
She was relieved.... and we were really able to talk about her issues.
But OH MY! I will not forget my tool box next time. LOL

KC said...

Love that Alli. Sorry you both had a tough day. After we got off the phone last night we had sort of a family melt-down. Alina was asleep, so it wasn't her. Our tool box would have saved us about two hours as well. But, we live, love, and learn and move on.

Blessings, Kelly

Annie said...

Oh, gosh yes..... Speaking sharply or "yeling" (as it is called) makes things ten times worse.

And it is related to puberty. I was SO self-congratulatory! She was doing SO well....then she turned 13.

But, sometimss letting things go "to far" does work out in the end....some of that poison has to come out.

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