Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Changing on Purpose

Our little family lives with my Mom. She has been supportive and even proud of how DH and I have been parenting RJ. I think my parents did the best job they could with the circumstances and resources they were with in.

There are some definite things I wish I could change about how they parented and things that had happened in all our lives...But it's also easy for me to look back and go "gee I wouldn't have done that!". I am still a newbie to the ideas of Grace Based Discipline (also this site ) wrapping my mind around it- so different from the way I was raised- is a challenge. Especially when I am living with the person who raised me, who learned a lot in her years of raising 5 kids, but still has that old adversal relationship mindset. I want relationship with my children, I want to work on their heart not their behaviors. More on that later.

We are planning to stay with my Mom long term at this point. We lost my Dad a couple of years ago, and DH and I really really enjoy being with her. All my siblings are really glad we're with her as well since they know she's not in the big house all by herself and has some one to come home to after a long day.

With that said she's going to be around for a while most likely...And it is so hard to forge my own path and not worry about her opinions or reactions- and I'm sure even at times correcting how she's handling a situation with my daughter.

For example: this past weekend my 6 year old cousin was visiting A LOVED playing with RJ. At one point RJ had climbed up on a dining room chair and was sitting on her knees- A. started pulling the chair away from the table (my Mom was sititng next to them both on her laptop) and RJ turned and tried to reach for the table (that was too far away at this point) and she nearly fell (would have if my Mom hadn't caught her). A was just playing with her "cousin" giving her a ride, she didn't have any concept of what RJ understands. But my Mom turned to A and said "What in the world were you thinking??!".

Maybe it doens't sound like a big deal, but the tone of it- well my cousin was very embarressed - I didn't know what to say so I stayed silent- ergh! NOW looking back I know I should have said some thing like, "It's okay A- you weren't trying to hurt her, she's just really little and didn't understand the game- we'll have to help her hold on if you're going to play like that, okay?" I have a really hard time sound like I'm correcting my Mom. At least in that case becuase it was my cousin not my baby that was being corrected.

I know my Mom was mostly just reacting out of the fear that RJ almost got hurt... But it was her attitude towards my cousing. My cousin has feelings too, even if she is just a 6 year old. Maybe I felt this more keenly too because I am a really sensitive person and it's some thing I never felt like my Mom has embraced. I always felt my sensitivity was a weakness instead of strength- because my Mom would always try to toughen me up (in essence). "Stop Crying, it's not a big deal" (ergh I caught myself saying some thing simialr to this to RJ very recently). "Really Hannah, that is NOT necessary". Or as my Dad would put it "That's enough, DRY UP!". I felt like my tears and emotions were a bad thing and they embarresed me. Emotions are a beautiful thing, I think if you let a child express them fully as they need when they are little they are more likely to be able to express them approrpiately when they are older.

Also my Mom laughs at dd a lot, not in a mean way. But I'm trying to be really really careful in how and when I laugh at things. I remember being very hurt by being laughed at from a very very early age (probably younger than 2) and I'm scared dd will feel embarressed or have the same hang ups as I do/did. I am trying only to laugh when Ri is obviously trying to be silly, not to just laugh because she's cute (though some times it IS impossible).. It is really really hard to change these 2 things when around my Mom- she has the same attitudes as ever, and I am trying to forge a new path. It's really difficult.

I'm gonna have to close this post- more on it later...I've been trying to write it while RIley ran around on the back porch...I had to bring her in because she kept trying to climb up on the benches- there is no back to the benches so the climbing is extremely dangerous- I hate how our deck was designed.

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