With a return back to some form of routine we are back to home educating with the addition of the Scouts and the help of our third parent. J has been with us for almost 1 year and easily seems to understand how to parent my children very naturally. No wedding date yet, but I may have found a celebrant!
D has begun sandpaper letters at his Montessori preschool and I found some number work in his pigeon hole, including some addition sums!!! Speaking of additions (repetitive!!) D has DEFINITELY scored big with the ole testosterone! His frustrations and anger at not getting his own way have become an interesting ‘learning opportunity’! As well as that, there is the matter of a soft palate that may be causing some delay/issue with speech development and sensory integration. I’m onto it, with a referral to see a speech therapist now and maybe an ear/nose/throat specialist later. The poor love says that when he feels angry it’s like all the happiness goes out of his toes and he doesn’t think he’s ever be happy again. Then a tight angry feeling goes into his mouth and neck and he wants to be mad and fight! So far his little fists have been punching me in slow motion. This is a good sign, really, as I never hit my children and they feel it’s just about the WORST thing parents can do.
For him to feel THAT angry, he must trust that I won’t reject him. When his little frame comes right under my head and he’s pounding so fiercely but slowly into my legs I just kiss his head and tell him how ‘D is a lovely boy, and he’s FEELING angry. But feelings come and feelings go, sometimes sleepy, sometimes angry, sometimes sad, sometimes so happy we almost wet our pants!’… thank GOODNESS it’s all happening NOW, while he’s small and still laughs over those jokes, and before his little paws become hard and vengeful! He’s learning too that when he’s like that others get hurt. He forgets his manners, shouts at people faces… all the horrible stuff. So far I talk him through ‘getting back to his true self’, back to his line… how he feels when he’s at Montessori and he is walking on the line, feeling peaceful and alert. Then I ask his how he WANTS to behave and he of course wants to “not to grow up to be bossy man”. Then D goes around saying sorry and “ask for for givingness”. He must feel so frustrated at times.
Complete empathy with ANYONE who is going through ANY anger issues with their children. I know that, at the moment, mine is a minor issue. I can deal with this as I have plenty of experience and tools. I’ve taught in schools where it’s quiet common to have basket balls ‘pegged’ at your head and 10 year old spit in your face while swearing then leave the school grounds and you’re forced to call the police as they have left school and THAT’S policy… and where children are already taking drugs before morning school bells sound. This is primary/elementary age… TOTALLY empathise with any and all dealing with teens/young adults. Like my children and I observe, mostly in shops, even ADULTS have tantrums!!! It’s important to separate the person and the behaviour. A behaviour is a choice and choices are influenced by environment, knowledge, skills etc. If you jump and down and then get what you want… you are more likely to jump up and down. A person’s ‘temperament’ though? mmmm Each baby comes with a particular temperament… we all did. Ah the nature and nurture debate… ‘in touch with his feelings’…. that’s MY aim with D. Tools to help his make good choices and hopefully the ability to NOT get angry when he doesn’t get his way… when he’s way is unreasonable/impossible.
We can love our children without loving their behaviour. At the same time it’s a good opportunity for ME to remember not to be hard on MYSELF when I’ve not behaved well… when I was younger. Some things happen and we’re human, anger is part of the bag of emotions.
M continues to thrive in the home environment, and now with Cubs, weekly get togethers with a best friend and a group of multi aged children and plenty of ‘girl time’ with her mum she is LOVING her life… I got 5 return appearances to kiss me goodnight tonight… we’re both very much looking forward to tomorrow and continuing with our program/choices.
Our current curriculum is a 3 hour Montessori style work cycle in the morning, which consists of 1 hour reading, and then 2 hours of project work. Her projects are art/music/science experiments/’construction’ – which is very creative use of found items and recycled goods. We finish the day with Board of Studies bookwork, which are the same books found in any NSW primary school, with the exception of the comprehension being one grade higher to match her level. It takes 4 afternoons, or about 8 hours collectively for her to finish her ‘school schoolwork’ IF she procrastinates. It would take her 4 hours per week if she took her time but wasn’t distracted. Still she continues with outings and social gathers 5 out of 7 days a week, is part of daily routines, ‘chores’, shopping, visiting, library trips, bike rides, meditation class, as well as time at her dad’s/ aunt and uncle’s/ grandma’s etc etc NOT to mention consistently asking her great aunt for a lend of her DS every time we visit! All in all she’s a VERY happy, content and enthusiastic child… aka she is PERFECTLY her!
Actually, they are BOTH perfectly them… and everyone has times of intense learning and rest.