Saturday, July 30, 2011

Beautiful reminder. . .

Claudia wrote a beautiful post yesterday. Go on over and read it . . . trust me you won't be sorry. But if indeed you don't go over, I'm gonna share the best with you so that I can save it for myself also. I think this is something I need to read all. the. time.

She was talking about how one of her sons remembers when they used a door alarm on his door in order to know when he was coming and going. He had to use the bathroom several times a night and instead of having the alarm go on all night, they put a bucket in his room so he could use it and dump it in the morning. This was a very short lived solution to a long term problem and they soon stopped using it to deter the behavior.

He remembers this as a LONG term issue in her home and throws it at her. In her words, "Mike recalls this that he lived like this for his entire childhood -- locked in his room with a bucket to pee in. In reality, we tried it for about a month and realized it doesn't work, but with his mind working the way it does it is where he gets stuck. Obviously, we haven't tried it again and we wouldn't do it again. It wasn't the way he made it sound, but it probably wasn't a good choice either."

Her next sentence hit me in the gut. "For the rest of our lives he will bring this up -- as a definition of his childhood." This is so true of Dustin and how he perceives things also. Perhaps this similarity is due to their FAS diagnosis and the inability to connect cause and effect. Perhaps it is just the way their brain works. Dustin is a very concrete, black or white thinker. When it comes to what happened in the past it is all or nothing. I don't think Mike is exaggerating the situation to make himself feel better or simply to torment Claudia, but that is how he truly sees it. Dustin is the same way!

She goes on to say, "I guess my reminder to you is this: Ask yourself when you are parenting your kids if ten years from now you want to be reminded of what you are doing today. Look at it from the memory picture of a child -- when they look back -- if they only remember bad things -- what are they going to remember?"

Whoa. That is heavy.

"But the next time you come down really hard on your kid -- you may want to ask yourself if you want that defining their childhood. And then love the heck out of that kid. I confess openly that Mike spent a great deal more time in Bart's lap than he did mine because I could not make myself connect very well with a child who was being so rude and defiant to me all the time. And that was my bad.

I'm not saying that a child who has many great memories and spends time on your lap is going to necessarily turn out any differently than a child who is "locked up for their entire childhood." But my guess is that you will turn out differently after choosing the lease controlling option of the two."

This is so very true. I have been reading Claudia's blog for years and over the years I have realized our approach to things our kids do is very similar. I love her honesty. When she is wrong and got sucked into a power struggle she admits it. She wants other to learn from her mistakes. She loves those kids with her whole being. She has a difficult time with her controlling nature. I do too. Thanks Claudia for sharing!! I needed to hear this today.


Claudia said...

Thanks, Sheri, for thanking me. I really worried when I posted this that I was going to receive some criticism..... so your affirmation -- and you reblogging it -- is priceless tonight.

Anonymous said...

I dunno. If my parents made me pee in a bucket just one time I would berate them for it forever. I would also report them to CPS and later on, when they got old and feeble, I'd force them to eat dented rusted cans of catfood while I spent their social security checks on pedicures and full body waxes.