Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Training

I had no idea how much difficult situations with children have been training me to deal with other difficult situations in life.

One of my children had a blow up yesterday morning.  It was a silly situation as we look back on it, but for some reason, it was monumental to this child.

I wrote the following email to my husband around noon.  It was entitled, "Loverly Morning."

"Oh WOW!  I wish you would have been here this morning to witness the love fest brought on by our lovely (name of child withheld).  HOLY SHLAMOLY!!!!   I became [the] object of hatred.  [The child] even threw stuff around.  It was a fabulous display of drama.  So sorry you missed it.  I have to say, though, that thanks to [various children]'s training for these past few years, I stayed completely calm and collected.  I didn't go into panic mode or freak out mode or anything.  I was level-headed and thinking clearly the entire time....Well, the fun is just starting.  I figure we'll just kick back and relax and let [the child]  work through [it], as much as [the child] can, on [his/her] own.  Being an 'experiential learner,' [this child]'s got a lot of experiences ahead to learn from.  Gotta love [this child].  I have no doubt that [he/she'll] come out of this quite a lovely young [person].  It's the getting there that's gonna be a ride (and a half).


One of our children brought home a test from, I believe it was, a science class a few years ago.  It was to see what kind of learner the taker of the test is.  Of course, no one is completely one kind of learner, we're all a combination, but this test was all about predominant learning style.  We gave the test to each family member who was old enough to take it.  We were fascinated with the results. 

We have a bunch of "visual" learners.  I am, predominantly, an "auditory" learner, and this particular child, alone, is an "experiential" learner.  At this point, if the test was correct, we knew that nothing we could do would teach this child.  We endeavor everyday to make sure the places where these experiences take place are positive, but there's only so much we. as parents, can control.  When it comes right down to it, leaving problems in this child's shoes is the only way to teach things effectively, but this is something we try to do for each of our kids--not always successfully, but it is the goal.

We had an interesting conversation this morning, this child and me.  The child was getting all riled up about a situation with a sibling (the kids are home because of parent-teacher conferences).  At the time, it was a flame on a candlewick that was quickly growing into a bonfire.  I knew my job was to back out and not feed the flames. 

After things calmed, I asked the child if he/she'd seen my response the day before.  Was it crazy or calm?  Well, it could have been crazy, but I didn't let you decide my response.  I chose it for myself.  You can do the same.  Things immediately calmed and perspective was regained.

At different times, each of my seven give me opportunities for training.  A few of them give me more experience than others.  At times I feel downhearted and concerned, but as I face more things with them, I find that even parenting is line upon line, precept upon precept, and what one child does often leads to how to deal with situations brought on by others.

Even the "HOLY SHLAMOLY" experiences are for my training.  Nice to know they have a purpose.


Alyson said...

And this is why the younger kids "have it so much easier" than the elder ones. My #1 asked me the other day, "How come the little kids don't get time outs like we got? Why don't they have to _________?" I hadn't even remembered that I did that with the elder kids, for one thing; for another, I hadn't realized that I wasn't doing it with the youngers. Just, I learn, they learn, I now react differently to their freak outs and they, because they have older siblings to watch and learn from, freak out less often. All things that came before, led us to where we are now.

Rory Baxter said...

Do you happen to still have that test somewhere? I would be very interested in having our kiddos take it, and even take it myself.
We are going through alot of things with boys in particular. One kiddo will be lifelong concerns, another, I just cant get through....
Really sounds like we are living parallel lives, maybe more now than when the kids were little...
You are amazing the way you handle everything. I think about you often when we get into the thick of things here. I also know that because of my own history, it often feeds the fire because my own skills are lacking and my views are skewed. Not sure those things will ever be resolved though.
Would love to learn about new teaching strategies for me, and the kids.
LMK -k- Thanx again for always sharing. It is no wonder you have been nominated for Mother of the Year, you are an incredible woman and mother! I want to be you when I grow up!

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