"Although I speak from my own experience, I feel that no one has the right to impose his or her beliefs on another person. I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable for you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is off no use, then you can discard it." Dalai Lama...

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

A day to celebrate.

The plumber didn't arrive yesterday, he was called out to an emergency.In a way I was glad, I felt terrible yesterday , I had a migraine type headache that had lingered for two days and was worn out and very emotional.Luckily Emily and my nephew were taken out by a very good friend for a few hours so I was able to finish reading The sensitive child. I should perhaps have gone to bed but I was expecting the plumber to turn up any time from the "emergency" as it was they turned up at 3.30 just to see what equipment to bring the next day.

Today started early, Emily woke at 6.30 coughing and decided she couldn't get back to sleep so got up at 7.15, I got dressed and followed her down, she hates being downstairs on her own too long first thing for some reason.The plumber did arrive today and we spent most of the day in the dining room. I re read one of the Roman Mysteries books while she did some sun catchers( she had a bird one and started to do it just in black,I asked if she was going to add some colour and she said no,I bit my tongue because I thought she would spoil it and thought it should be done with colour but as usual there was a reason, this was going to be a crow to go with the crow fairy she had done yesterday,glad I kept my mouth shut as it would have totally spoilt it for her) and painted and made a bookmark for a friend and did some mazes I had printed off for her.She was happy to do the things I suggested as I read to her and we chatted and had a great morning.Around about 11.00 she got up and started to get some things out for a snack and looking at the clock she said I may as well get my lunch now and proceeded(with very little help) to make two toasted cheese sandwiches, her speciality, and 4 biscuits.We did discuss the possibility of adding some cucumber to balance things out a tad and she agreed but that didn't eventually make it to the plate.She kept asking for my help but then managed to actually do what it was she had asked for help with anyway.She has always been scared of using a knife as the first time she used one a long time ago she nipped her finger and it put her off completely.But cutting her sandwich is giving her confidence and it is so great to see.As she sat down I asked if she would mind if I took a photo for my blog(she has been adamant about various things not being blogged or photographed as they are private)she said of course and even posed for me ;-))

This is her creation, eat a custard cream and a chocolate digestive at the same time .MMMMMM yummy.

After lunch and a bit more reading I had to get on with a few things and so she asked to watch TV.She decided to go in the living room and came through a little while later for the box of fabric we have as she had moved the sofas and made herself a fishing boat.Looks a little bored with fishing....

She then asked me to make her a sari from a long silky piece of material but wouldn't let me take a photo of that.

We have had a good day and she has been in a great mood.But more importantly (and probably has some bearing on her mood)I have been a better mummy.

I have been very low since the holiday.I have been overwhelmed by Emily's needs and reading the Sensitive Child has given me a great insight into what things are like for Emily and why she act's as she does. We all want the best for our child and reading about what it feels like for her to deal with the normal day to day things just made me feel sad.It's obviously not a great shock to me I have been very well aware of how she reacts to life but somehow it seemed final,real.I suppose you always hold on to the hope that it will get easier or that as she grows she will gain confidence and I am sure that will be the case but it isn't going to happen without a lot of love and patience and help with strategies to cope.Once again I have been doubting my ability to provide what she needs.

Over the last few weeks things have changed and as she has been ill she has obviously been doing less and choosing to watch a lot of TV.Now I had thought I had got past any issue with TV time but that was because she was not watching much and was happy to find something else to do.I have found myself wavering and wanting to impose restrictions.I have resisted but it has caused all sorts of internal wranglings. I read a post on an unschooling blog today that reminded me that unschooling is not unparenting and that if I do find it is affecting Emily in a detrimental way(at the moment it is not affecting her just me!!)then we can do something about it by discussing things and find a way that works for us.I had lost track again and forgot that we need to do whats right for us not what works for others.I am constantly amazed at the fact that just as I am dealing with a dilemma a link in a blog sends me to just the right place to get the answer.I am also amazed at how easy it is for me to loose focus and forget the things I was so sure of before.

Another thing that has added to doubting my approach has been how I have dealt with Emily's learning difficulties.Well meaning family members have been asking when her assessment for dyslexia is taking place and a Friend of my sisters ( a special needs teacher with a great knowledge of dyslexia) had expressed her concern and had suggested that we should not waste any time getting her help.
My feeling has been that I needed to rebuild Emily's confidence and that having dyspraxia she has probably suffered from having to learn too early and the pressure that put on her.We have been given a ream of exercises to do that would help her dyspraxia but she resisted doing them and it was making things stressful so I took her lead and have just allowed her to go at her own pace.I have seen significant improvement in her willingness to give things a go, writing when she wants to and not bothering if a word is wrong ,sounding out words and a self awareness about when a word does not "look" right.Asking us to spell the same word over and over again until one day she just "knows" it.picking up a book and reading ten words, a page , however much she wants to.No pressure going at her own pace.I am not a teacher and have no real knowledge of dyslexia and how best to help her.Her next appointment with the paediatrician is coming up in a couple of weeks and it will be over a year since she set the wheels in motion to have her assessed(she was still at school)I think I should still have the assessment just so that we know what we are dealing with but what we do afterwards I am not too sure about.Should I just carry on how we are going or should some more definite help be given? I feel I have done what is right for Emily but have been constantly churning up inside to think I could be making such a huge mistake.

I think I have got into a cycle of thinking too much about the things she can't do or has difficulty with , there are so many things I know she would love to be able to do but when we attempt them and she can't do them she gets so disheartened.Today I saw the look of pride in her face when she made her lunch and I could of cried. When I got home from shopping she decided to make us all a cup of tea and even picked up the just boiled heavy kettle to fill the cups, her confidence in her ability is high.I need to celebrate where she is improving and growing and try to put things into perspective more.What does it matter if we can't play scrabble or do hamma beads,we will carry on doing the easy jigsaws and enjoy completing them,we can walk instead of biking and roller skates look bloody dangerous to me ;-))


Stacie said...

I am glad you are finding answers to some of your questions.

Lynn said...

Hi Stacie,
I am getting there!!!
I have been popping in each day to cafe mom and it sounds like you are doing great.The new tea sounds interesting I will look forward to seeing how that goes,and I certainly hope it is the thing for you.xx

annie kelleher said...

emily is so adorable! she looks so bright and happy...im sure you are doing a lot right! :)

Lynn said...

Thank you Annie,
Your very kind,I have these wobbles and after each one I learn so much about myself and then just get stronger.It does help when lovely folks drop by and leave
messages that cheer me up xx

piscesgrrl said...

Let me give you a different perspective. I've been tutoring school kids for 9 years (since I quit teaching). I am very gentle with my students, and I don't force feed them anything, even though I'm hired, basically, to "fix" them. And while we do make some progress, I truly believe 99 times out of 100 these kids would either catch up if given time, or be perfectly happy adapting to their own needs, if allowed to, and honored for them. What I usually find is these kids, by the age of about 12, learn that they are broken and they realize that there are lots of people trying to fix them and few or no people loving them just as they are. It's horribly disheartening. I try to talk to these kids and provide a safe haven for them that we all have our strengths and weaknesses, and I focus on their strengths and celebrate them. But it's not enough. And to make matters worse, the school officials like to affix nasty subjective labels like "lazy" and "doesn't try" on top of their official labels, so now the kids are really sunk. It's never a good situation.

So if Emily has some delays, they are only delays in comparison to others. They are not delays within herself. There are lots of options for people to overcome challenges, ways people adapt without being forced to conform to standards set by others. I have friends who got into medical school but cannot spell to save their lives. I also have friends who don't read well at ALL but are brilliant at what they do well (such as mechanics, dancing, story-telling, etc).

I suggest you continue following Emily's cues on what she's ready for and when, and IF she feels confident in herself and secure in her home, she will naturally want to learn all she can as her interests direct her.

I know it's hard to trust. I have my doubts at times, too. That's why we blog - so we can get some chin-ups from others! You're loving that grrl and letting her blossom in her own way, and that is a gift most kids are not lucky enough to receive.

Lynn said...

Laura, thank you very much,I am going to print that out and keep it somewhere visible ;-))

I have always followed my heart with regard to the best way for us to live/learn (luckily for Emily) but I am easily shaken.

"So if Emily has some delays, they are only delays in comparison to others. They are not delays within herself."

That just puts everything into perspective.

The part about trying to fix them and no one loving them just for themselves made me cry.Thank you for taking the time to help xx

Michelle said...

Have you read John Holt's "How Children Learn" and "How Children Fail"?

Lynn said...

Hi Michelle,
I read how children learn in one sitting shortly after we took Emily out of school.I decided not to get the other at the time as I felt the first one had answered my questions and I was all fired up about the way forward!!!

It would be helpful to read it I think....xx