Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Don't Carpe Diem

I saw this article posted on a friend's facebook page and just had to say "Amen" to it.  I try to tell myself that I often don't enjoy the daily drudgery of parenting because we haven't parented our kids from Day 1 and therefore we face many different challenges, than my friends who started out the "traditional" way.  But I think parenting is just hard.  And if we hold on to the "Kairos" moments that happen each day, the joys of parenting will shine through some of those challenging moments.

I need to remember that, especially now, as we are daily confronting the learning challenges of our children.  My meeting with AJ's teacher last week revealed he's no where near on track with his classmates and the girls are struggling with their course work also.  Retention is the main problem and many of my friends/clients with kids from 'hard places' are telling me the same thing about their kids. Reasoning, problem solving, retention: all things that come from proper brain development of the frontal lobe during a child's first 3 years of life.  If a child experiences any trauma (lack of prenatal care, traumatic birth, early hospitalization, abuse, neglect, malnourished) during the first 3 years of their lives, the development of that frontal lobe is going to be a bit off.  Not that it can't be restored and healing come, it just takes intentional parenting.  And let me tell you, intentional parenting is exhausting. And well meaning people keep encouraging us to try this teaching technique or spend more time reading with our kids, etc.  I have to tell you, my kids do more 'homework' than almost any other family I know of.  We have private tutors and spend time every night reading to and having our kids read to us. All of my kids are getting extra assistance at school (though that's another tangent I could go down but won't right now) and I have several 'school help' websites bookmarked and we use these often.  They don't watch TV or play video games during the weekly (usually) but there comes point where I shut the books and tell them, "go outside and play".  They are kids after all.  I just find it so hard to balance the pressures of academia with the necessity of just being kids.  And as parents, we put more pressure on ourselves than anyone to have our kids "succeed".  Well, I need to get to the grocery store to fret over how much money I'm spending to provide healthy foods to help my kids' brain development. =) At least it will get my mind of school woes, right?  I'll leave you with a picture of my cuties who woke me up at 6am (an hour before they need to get up) this morning because they wanted to wear their "tight pants & tutus" to school today. 

ps. Thanks for all the comments regarding the fort from my last post.  You helped rebuild my mommy self esteem. =)


Leveta said...

I felt like you must secretly live in my house. Your description of your children and their problems in learning describe my children perfectly..Add to that Sam's loss of hearing, speech impediment and speech delay, partial loss of vision, and problems with his walk and he has alot of "things" in front of him.Kaitrin has processing problems when given direction or in reading. SO I say all this to say that I agree. We have to look at the positives in our children and go with those and know that they are exactly where they are suppose to be and we have to help them be the best they can for God..Thanks so much for your words.They really encouraged me.

The Kerr Family said...

I could pretty much copy and paste your whole blog for today in my blog area....same learning problems, same tutoring and level of school work, similar background and trauma....I was encouraged that you said that it can be regained....that the learning problems are not forever. Thank you for the hope. No one has told us that yet. We feel like we've been dropped a random child in the middle of no where and we just are playing a guessing game as to how to help the poor child. No one in our network has any experience or help with an older adopted child.
It makes it especially difficult to have 2 kids wizzing through school with all A's and 2 struggling kids who WANT to do well and work harder than anyone else I know (besides your poor children) and still aren't cutting it. :( You were encouragement because I don't feel so alone. And you were an encouragement because this seems to be "normal" for Brandon.

Scott and Jennifer Schaetzle said...

Just wanted to let you know I burned my grilled cheese sandwich reading and relating to this post. She is only 2, and I still put too much pressure on myself. I know it is hard, but you are doing a GREAT job with your kiddos!