Tuesday, June 2

Discoveries

This is important. I want to write it.
But ... one thing I've discovered is ... I'm exhausted.

Not much different than usual, but worth noting nonetheless.

I've been learning a lot about myself, and my interactions with the boys this week.

I've discovered that I hover. I save. I entertain. I clean up after. I do for. I repeat. I yell. I nag. I direct. I bribe. When these things don't work, I resort to whining, threats, and tantrums of my own. I get frustrated, then angry.

This week has been a good lesson in letting all of that go. Some things are harder to let go of than others. Attempting to solve the boys problems is probably one of the hardest, for me.

I've discovered that when I'm not trying to solve everyone's problems for them, I can just empathize, hug, cuddle. That these actions are often more supportive than giving away my solutions. I can give suggestions best by posing them in the first person. "Sometimes I ...". It is clear that this works better than saying "you could". We now have evidence. And if the boys ask for something that they can do themselves? I am trying to differentiate between help and doing things for them; I am practicing "help yourself" and "I have confidence that you can ...", as well as asking guiding questions, instead of answers.

We are also discovering our limits. It is very hard not to intervene in violence between the boys, especially for AD. He was the little brother who was always picked on. The dynamic in our family is somewhat different, but close enough to be an issue.

There is also only so much mess that we can tolerate. And, in fact, we did get some agreement from at least R that the house was just too messy, and that it would be better to put things away as soon as we're done with them. Of course, that doesn't help with the current state of things, but he did also agree to clean up, as long as he didn't have to do it alone. Of course not! So we worked on cleaning up together, and ordered some pizza, and worked on cleaning up some more. AD & I probably cleaned up 5 times as much as R, and E did very little at all, but at least we kept V from dumping everything out again. And maybe, just maybe, the sugary cereal stuck all over everything in the living room will be a good reminder why we don't eat in there. In any case, getting some cooperation in cleaning up is going to be important for us.

There is so much more to write. But it will have to wait until I am not so exhausted.

2 comments:

Lilian said...

OH, wow... this is all fascinating! I hope you keep on blogging the whole experience. Just from reading these few posts I get a feeling that I'm probably in the right track -- I hardly interfere and I try to let them do their own thing. And everyday I just sit and cuddle, hug, kiss them for a long time. I know that I still do several things wrong (Kelvin asking repeatedly the same thing today when I had already said no is proof of that) and that there's room for improvement, but I'm probably doing better than I thought I was!

As for cleaning, having to sell the house is truly being wonderful for all of us (most of all for me because I'm by far the messiest person in the whole household) and he boys are learning to clean up after themselves.

I hope things get better and better for your family as you continue with the program. I'd love to chat some more about our boys sometime. Maybe we should/could talk on the phone someday!

Vicki said...

Hi,

I just found this, enjoyed reading your experience, and wanted you to know that if you have any questions, or need a little inspiration to keep going, to give me a shout. I know this can be a bit overwhelming at first - check out flockmother's blog for a bit of companionship and inspiration AND I want to encourage you to keep going.

These first few weeks are the hardest. Breaking old habits, creating new awareness, starting over again can seem overwhelming, and yet, 3 months from now, you will look back and the hardest work will be behind you. The fun ahead of you.

Good luck and I hope you keep writing.

Vicki