Tonight we took the kids up to see their Great Grandma who has been placed in a nursing home while she recovers. When we get there our 2 nephews are there and Yin runs over to say hello. Next thing I know they are singing a version of Jingle bells. I here one version, then a second one, then a third one as the kids are giggling like crazy in the corner. I can’t here all of the words but, by looking at each child’s face, I could tell these were not the best versions of the Christmas classic. So, I ask Yin from across the room ” Yin are you being appropriate with what you are singing?” Yin’s response ” Well……Mommy I am being more appropriate than them!” with a proud look on her face and went back to what she was doing.
I found myself watching my kids and wishing everyday they got along as well as they did today. Not sure if it was the warm sunny weather, or the idea of today is truly our last freedom day at the beach, but today they were best friends, inseparable, and totally enjoying each others company. It was like they were 2 and 4 again and they were all each other had and that was enough.
This morning they both woke up at 5 am. Yang made breakfast for Yin and they played on their DS’s until 8am. THen they climbed in bed with me and started the mommy wake up snuggles ( I do not wake up at 5 am, and I am in no way a morning person). Lots of giggling and blanket stealing, storytelling and then Yin brought me my caffeine (the only way to get mommy out of bed when she is zapped) and I finally got moving.
THen the kids decided by 9 they wanted to go swimming. There was a lifeguard on duty ( I am so going to miss the morning lifeguards who allowed my kids to swim while I did morning chores.) and they were off. That gave me time to eat breakfast in peace and start cleaning and organizing for tomorrows pack up. They came back at 12pm ate lunch and then were off again on their bikes for a long ride around the campground and to climb on their favorite tree. After I was done cleaning and almost got everything ready for an easy pack, I joined them at the tree and then we were off on our bikes riding and feeling free! I had Milo in the basket behind me and I rode till I was wiped. Then we came back packed up and headed out for a few errands.
One lucky find today was at Once Upon a child, we got a wind up musical stuffed bear that “twinkles the song Jesus loves me“. I was starting to think I would never find a wind up doll, but God provided and it works like a charm. Yin loves music boxes. When she has anxiety fits or gets overstimulated and I send her to her room, she would wind up a music box that she has and listen to it over and over. Well the music box is wearing out and I’ve been meaning to find something else. We were shopping at a store and we found a Christmas elf that was scary looking, but it was a wind up. Yin was in one of her moods and was having a really hard time why she was out with us going from store to store ( she gets a lost feeling and anxiety can be high) well this wind up elf’s music really calmed her down. SHe even took a small nap in the cart while I was shopping. Then only problem, It was scary and she did not like to turn it around or cuddle it. So, Yang and I decided we were going to find her a wind up doll. We have been looking the entire time we have been down here for anything that winds up and has that music box sound. All the musical toys now for infants are pushbutton or remote control. They also have more of speaker sound and not the twinkle sound Yin likes. We finally found one and for a great price $3.50 you can’t beat that. Yin took to it right away. She took it with us everywhere we went tonight. She had Yang and I pray over it , fill it with love, and she was set. She took it with us to feed the goats our left over veggies, and for the first time ever she wrapped this bear in a blanket and pretended it was a baby. She had the waitress at dinner bring it a booster seat and a small appetizer plate. It was adorable! This is the first time Yang and I have seen her so calm and doing something that little girls do. I almost cried and Yang was excited and really encouraging her as well. At dinner he would put food on Mr. Twinkles plate and would play along with what ever she was doing. I tell ya, Yang is going to grow up to be one great daddy someday!
We came home after dinner and we started packing the car. Yin was exhausted and whiney so we tucked her in and she wound up her bear and after about three windups she was out. Easiest bed time ever!
Hard to believe a month has gone by. The kids did great getting all their school done and we are on target. I can truly say we are all ready to go home though. I am sure after we hit the grey skies and the tundra winds we all will be whimpering for our warm beach view. But, there truly is no better place than home.
( I will add picts to this later once we get home. I took them on my camera and don’t know how to download them on this particular computer ;).
Tonight I find myself searching for answers on discipline. This week with Yin has been a big eye opener. I have noticed that there are a few things that she gets away with due to the fact that she has special needs. It is really hard sometimes to tell what is behavior, what is an actual sensory melt down, or what is truly and accident versus just poor judgment. I find that Yang is being affected by these actions in a way that is unfair to him. I realize something needs to be done. I am called to discipline my children. God says that a parent that does not discipline their child hates them!
Proverbs 13:24 Who ever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
How does one discipline a special needs child? I am sure I am not the first to wonder how. You can’t spank them because most of the time the child does not even understand why they would be getting spanked. It also can cause more trauma to what ever the situation is, and ends up being the opposite of what you wanted to accomplish. THen there is the timeout. Now I have used this one a few times, but boy it is more work for me than it is her. You put them in the time out area and if they move you take them back, they scream, shout, hit their heads on the floor, or pull out their hair. They come out of the time out area looking like they were in a cat fight and they lost! Or the opposite might happen, I put her in the time out and she sings and talks to herself like it is the best place in the world. Then I will sit with her and ask, do you know why you were in the time out. THe answer is always the same ” Nope!” or ” Because you hate me! ”
Most of the struggles we are dealing with are made from impulse control issues. She will do things without thinking. Once she is in trouble and you tell her what she did wrong, she either goes into a fit, or in a rude unemotional way says sorry. Like, sorry is going to fix it all. She has about used up all her sorry’s that her brother can take. The part that is so confusing/shocking is that she does not even really think she did anything wrong. There’s no remorse and if there is, it is more for her comfort than for the other persons feelings.
Yang loves his sister very much and he knows she is different from other kids. But, at the same time, he sees a very intelligent little girl, who in his eyes, gets away with murder! She will “accidentally destroy something of value to Yang and it may truly be an accident, but how much is he going to be able to take. How do you keep those things from happening over and over again. He is getting fed up with having to say ” Its okay Yin, I know you did not do it on purpose.” but you can see the tension in his face and the anger in his eyes. He is tired of having to sacrifice all he cares about because she does not have the ability to self regulate. At some point enough is going to be enough and he is going to either explode or their relationship will be ruined.
Tonight I am praying for the Holy Spirit to guide me in this struggle, for I do not know if there is an easy answer to our solution. I do a daily devotion on parenting from a bible app I use, and today’s topic just happened to be on the “Power from the Holy Spirit” . I think many times when we are parenting a child with special needs, a strong-willed child, or any type of parenting struggle we may be facing, we feel alone. We try to find books or web sites to help us. I don’t think the answers rest in any of those. I don’t think there is a one answer fits all for a child with NLVD, ADHD, SPD or Autism. If there was, so many people would not be able to make money off of their ideas in books. I think we can read the books and memorize the steps to follow and rack our brian till it bruises. The only thing that is going to help us figure out how to raise our children right is prayer. THe bible states that the Holy spirit is there to guide us in all that we do. I believe that not only means in our spiritual life, but in everything that we do, parenting, our jobs, relationships anything you can think of. Sometimes I think I forget how much God loves me and wants to help me . Maybe if I would take the time to listen I might be able to salvage this family before it is ruined. So I ask you to pray with me and for me, pray that the Holy Spirit leads us to what needs to be done for our child/children. Let’s not rely on the world to teach us, but rely on the God who created our children. And when He creates something He always says ” It IsGood”.
Yin is my feeler, my heart to heart little girl. I love it when she comes to me, very serious like, and says :
” Mom we need to talk. It is, you know, one of those girl things where ….well …. You just need your mom to listen.”
Tonight was one of those nights. Not exactly sure what spurred these thoughts and the swelling of emotions that needed to be discussed in private ASAP. But, she was really needing to get it off her chest. So, we sat down at the kitchen table and she began to release all the tension that she had bottled up inside about a particular boy she has a crush on.
Now I won’t go into all the details of our conversation because, Yin having NLVD, talking about her feeling can take a bit of time. I think sometimes she is not even sure how she feels. If she does, like tonight, expressing herself and letting out all the build up of emotion takes awhile.
When Yin understands the emotions that she is feeling, I love the way she expresses them. It is different than most kids her age. Heck I think it is different than most teenagers and adults. I don’t know a lot of teenagers. Maybe they do communicate like this. But, I strongly doubt it. I find it absolutely adorable, and love these moments, and just find myself tonight, wanting to share a few tidbits of Yin’s heart.
Yin comes to me and tells me that we need to have a heart to heart. Now being in a small camper, there are not to many places for us to go and sit privately for a heart to heart. Yang feeling that it is going to be awhile, decided to go and wait in the back bedroom. Yin and I go and sit in the dinette area to discuss her problem.
“ Mom I need to tell you something and well it is not easy for me to talk about it.”
When she starts off this way I usually get worried because you never know what is coming next. Did she break something, did she hurt someone or something, my mind begins to go a mile a minute. To my great relief her next words were:
“ You see I have a crush on this Boy (not going to give names due to privacy 🙂 ) I’ve met and well I truly think he may be the one!”
“ I see, How do you know that He is the one?” I ask.
Yin was quiet for a bit and says very thoughtfully and seriously:
“ Mom He is like my sword! You see, you can’t be a knight without a Sword. He also makes my heart glow. For, He loves the Lord as much as I do and that Glow is what makes him so special. He is like the golden streets of heaven and the happiness that you feel on those golden streets. But mom, I know that this particular boy already has a girlfriend and He does not know that I like him. Should I tell him?”
As I sit there with the biggest smile on my face knowing that she has this adorable crush and the way she expressed herself was very poetically done. I had to go into the whole Idea that right now is not the best time to tell this boy how you feel. The hardest part is relating to her emotionally without crushing her emotions and speaking in away she can connect with.
“ I think it is a beautiful thing that you like Him and have these very special feelings but, crushes are learning times for us”.
She says: “What do you mean?”
“Well, I can tell you that I had many crushes growing up, each one was very important, and I discovered something from each one. When you have a crush on someone there is something about that person that draws your heart to notice. Something about them makes them special and sparks an interest. You mentioned tonight that this boy loves to sing like you do, is handsome, kind, and most importantly loves the Lord like you do. These are wonderful attributes to look for in a mate ( now Yin talks a lot about when she finds her Mate, so that is why we use that word. ) Crushes are the beginning clues to what God teaches us to look for when we find that special person. With each crush that you have, and there maybe many or there maybe few, think about what God is showing you in that person and write it down. THen pray that when the time has come, and you are of proper age, that God would bring you a mate that is handsome, loves to sing, is kind , and most importantly Loves the Lord with all His heart. The feeling you have are very true. I honestly believe you care very much for this boy, but mommy wants to put in perspective that you are 8 and he is 9 or 10 and right now you are too young to have boyfriends and girlfriends and a bit young to worry about who your mate will be ( this is something we have discussed before). That is not what God planned for this age. Finding your mate will take time. It will take lots of crushes and possibly heart breaks. You see not every person you may have a crush on will return those same feelings.
she says:“ Like this boy because he already has a girlfriend.” ( and she got a mad face.)
I said: “Exactly. But don’t be mad at Him, or for the feelings you have ,because these are learning feelings. God is showing you something . These are clues to what may come in play for when the time is right.”
THen she asks: “Mommy is daddy an accumulation of all your crushes?”
“Yes he is and more baby.”
She ended saying:“ Mommy thanks for listening to me, and I think I will write this down in my diary. One day you never know this information might come in handy.”
I am sure like every parent when a conversation like this happens you worry. Did I say the right thing? Did I validate her feelings without making her feel like she was a baby? Did I relate it back to her in a way that she could understand the point. Luckily my kids read the blog every morning and can’t wait to see what mommy has written about. We have discussed that sometimes they might not like what mommy may write, and they are allowed to voice their opinion and talk about it. They also know that I will do my best not to embarrass them and that our lives being on this blog for others to read, May help someone with a situation like ours. They both agreed that it was okay to do this. They love the fact they their struggles may help someone else, and I promise to do portray them with respect. Yin watch a movie with Yang tonight, and when it was over came into see what I was doing. I read her the post and her response was “ That pretty much says it right mom” so I got the stamp of approval.
Also because they know I do this blog, It has made them more aware of their actions. They are trying really hard not to be used as a learning example for others ;). I might have just found the golden ticket to behavior. If this keeps up, I would be suggesting every parent to blog, because what is better than sharing to the world your kids struggles?
Your kids working really hard to make sure you have nothing negative to share ;-).