**Check her soul and you will find
a little girl with little pride
all she needs is love and a try
Help me see what I could be
treat me kind and patiently
next move I make, I'll surprise even me.
I'm asking you to
Queen me and you will see
I'll come back with majesty
Every inch that you give me
I'll give you back as royalty.
Just a heads up, parents, that there are after high school options (and during high school options) that you may not know about that could be amazing opportunities for your child.
Dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, AP classes, OJT, early release, and work experience with job coaching to name a few. When our first child started high school, we found out that tryouts had already occurred. We were late before the school year had even begun.
Your son or daughter could also graduate early or graduate with a technical skill certification.
As much as we would like our children to advocate for themselves and find out about these things in time, it has not been realistic to expect in my experience. How do you know what to ask about if you don’t even know what it is called?
This year my son is graduating, and we are looking into technical schools. We did not realize how competitive they are to get into. Many programs only have 20 students per class. So, if your son or daughter wants or even may want to attend, you have to apply immediately when application acceptance opens.
For a January start, you have to apply on September 1st. September 1st is not when to get the paperwork prepared, it is when to upload it all and turn it in immediately. August start is even more competitive and may have a registration more than four months ahead.
So, plan to advocate for your child and help them apply and meet deadlines well in advance of what you might think necessary. Transitioning to adult education and life is a long process. Just like applying for college, students can apply, be accepted, and still not attend. So, there is little risk in applying.
Have you ever seen those parents in the grocery store with the screaming child? Are you the parent of that screaming child? Maybe worse, have you ever felt like the kid in full melt-down mode in your heart– just barely holding it together in public because adults don’t behave like that–or do we?
The grocery store incidents are less common now because delivery and pick up have become some of the most useful services for parents with a less than cooperative child. But, it still happens.
One of the most infuriating things a parent can do in these situations is pacify the child with what he or she wants. You are literally conditioning him or her to act terribly to get what he or she wants. I have had a middle school student who did just that. It apparently can work for a long, long time. What should the parent do? Well, obviously stick by the “no” and keep those boundaries. But, wait……. have you ever worked with an autistic child? Sometimes the obvious solution literally doesn’t work. It doesn’t teach them anything and becomes an impossible situation for everyone.
In a completely lose/lose situation from the get go, parents can ignore it, and have the other customers irritated that the noise is not removed. They can “give in” by doing what they know will satisfy or silence the child and be not only judged by others as a terrible, wimpy parent causing all the problems with youth today, but also judging themselves and feeling like a terrible parent. Or they can go home without what they needed and give up on why they braved being in public in the first place. Being in a regularly judged and miserably unfun situation often is the price you pay for loving a child, especially a difficult or traumatized one.
If it were just toddlers who lost it and became unreasonable, we would not have these problems. The solutions, although taxing, are obvious. Pick the kid up and force them to do what is best or necessary. Take them home. Feed them; hug them; nap them, or ignore a fit at home. But life is never that simple, and we humans are not so different from our little ones.
The short answer is that you can’t. It is not possible to reason with an unreasonable person. Unreasonable people of any age are, by definition, not able to reason at that time. Emotions have apparently gotten the best of their thinking ability. We all have survival fight, flight and freeze responses that interrupt logical thinking at times.
But there is a lot of hope. As a mother, teacher and teacher’s helper, I have had a lot of experience with humans in melt-down mode including those with special needs. Knowing how to identify what will help and not giving in to fear or hopelessness can be so helpful. You don’t have to be a victim even if you do not enjoy what you must pass through while loving an unreasonable person.
The first step is to realize that you will not overcome irrational behavior with reasoning. However, you will start to handle it well by staying reasonable and calm yourself. Like putting on gloves and surveying the scene first in an emergency situation, take a deep breath and know that you can deal with this without joining this person on their emotional ride. You will be better able to help them calm down and deal with their upset if you see their struggle as theirs and stay firmly grounded.
As a young mother, I was very reactive. Every time my son threw a fit, I got very upset myself. Of course I didn’t like it. Of course my mirror neurons were firing and making me empathize and feel his upset or pain. A therapist once told me that children are very good at making you feel what they feel. I didn’t know that. He said, “think how you are feeling, that might be exactly how he was feeling.” I was feeling upset, afraid, and out of control of the situation. That matched what he was probably feeling as well.
I remember the first time I held him firmly in a rocking chair at church, meant for nursing mothers, while he kicked and screamed. He was getting too old for this behavior, and it wasn’t improving. I didn’t understand why he wasn’t growing up. I tested my ability to stay calm and rocked him while he threw a fit. I gently told him, “You can’t make me not love you.” This set me free. I saw that nothing he could do could force me to abandon him or not care. He could not upset me unless I let him. I felt this great love and freedom explode in me as I endured his nasty behavior until it ended in a crying embrace. The calm after the storm was wonderful and bonding. I was emotionally available for that because I had not become upset myself. It was wonderful.
“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.” –Leonardo da Vinci
So, I challenge you to find the power within yourself however you can to not go on that ride. Have compassion on yourself without pity. You are doing the best you can, but you are not a victim. You are choosing this. There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow even if in the future there will be many more storms.
Mom’s Night Out
is definitely a movie mothers with small children, especially stay at home moms, can relate to. It was so funny I was crying. It is not the kind of movie that interests the children, all but my nine year old left the room. It is also not for people who would be offended by Christian values since it appears to be a Christian film. I super, super loved it. It is a very good reminder of how and why we mothers shouldn’t and can’t lose perspective or our minds. 🙂 It is very encouraging. Happy Mothering! I’d love to buy a copy for all my sisters.
This year for Mothers’ Day, my youngest son gave me a hand written, colorful note.
It says, “Happy Mothers Day. The best moms teach yoga!” I laughed and had to share it with my yoga class. Thank heavens I teach yoga or else, how could I be the best mom?
Best, Beets–They are about the same thing and this year my thoughts on Moms went straight for that vegetable. The week before Mother’s day I found in the grocery store the largest, most beautiful fresh beets I’d ever seen. They were large and had big red and green stems that were leafy, not wilted and looked very fresh.
I bought them and prepared them for dinner. I thought they were wonderful, but most of my children did not appreciate them at all. In fact, it is a good thing I like them because I’m still eating left-overs.
I think beets are the best symbol for a good mom. They might not always have the most attractive skin, but they are good for you and wonderful. All the beauty they have inside colors everything they do. My hands were red from the contact for two days. The water they cooked in was red. A gentle, unintentional influence. So, so beautiful and natural and nutritious.
So, maybe yoga is the best, but this year for me, beets beat all as the symbol for the Mom I want to be (whether the children recognize it’s beauty, it’s value, or it’s significance or not.)
Can it be true?
The number we became
when we added you.
Only one wiggly tooth.
Playful, excited, happy.
Thin legs and arms.
Where did the years go?
Our baby is gone.
I’m so glad