Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Okay, so I haven't really talked about goals so far this month.
So here is what I've been working on and how it's going:
1 - Patience. See end of post.
2 - Foster friendships. I'm trying to do a better job at enabling my kids friendships. It's just so easy to let them play at home, with each other. And I often wait to have friends over until the house is clean, but the house is never clean! And when it's really clean, the last thing I want is for my hard work to get undone quickly by a herd of happy friends. So I've decided two things. One, that I never cared whether my friend's houses were clean or dirty when I was a kid. I cared about my friend. I'm so glad their mothers didn't wait for a clean house, or I would have missed out on a lot of great memories. So I'm going to swallow my pride and foster friendships regardless of the state of my house. So far, this is going well, I think. And part of this resolution has included car-pooling to soccer. I'm surprised that I'm a little sad to let go of all the driving, just as I had started to find ways to enjoy it, like time to talk with the kids and listen to books together. But my son needs some more friend time, so we switched to a team with a couple of his friends and have been carpooling. It has been so nice, from a time perspective, and from a friend perspective. Though I miss him and our bonding time with the other kids.
3 - Encourage exercise and outside time. Learning about ADD has made me realize that exercise is a lifeline that I can't deny my kids. (I think my own ADD was subconsciously causing me to keep them inside more often, because it's mentally hard for me to keep track of kids spread to kingdom come, and hard for me to round them up when the time comes) So I've relaxed about letting them outside. They have been biking around like crazy. It's pretty cute. The only sad thing, is that the littlest boy, who has an adventuresome spirit, runs away! I can't tell you how many times I have had to run like the wind, Tonto, to catch him, and he can run fast (he bolts even faster when he sees me coming)! He is not afraid to run away from home (four times while I was making dinner the other night! I had to stop what I was doing and go chase him down, I'm sure my neighbors are having a good laugh). So I have to lock the other kids out, to keep him in (he even learned how to get out through the garage! I'm in trouble). It makes me sad that he has to be stuck inside when I can't be out with him, but it's for his own good. We have also been going on summer bike rides and went on a hike yesterday. I love time like this together. (also: after a long injury, I have been tentatively exercising myself! it feels SO good!)
4 - Get up-to-date work charts and rule lists. I did a mini refresher on The Parenting Breakthrough (translation: I do way too much for my kids!) and made a list of the things my kids should be doing at their current ages and will be using as I update chore charts and move to a new system. Will also be starting allowance! We'll see how it goes. I've also been trying to translate my new knowledge about ADD into routines/work charts, for example, piggybacking certain chores onto others, so they are easier to remember (ie, making bed right when you get out of it). This is taking me much longer than expected. I've let the kids veg out more than I should in an attempt to get it done. Next year I'm doing it before school ends. Oh yeah, and we're working on our summer bucket list. You know what? It was a little overwhelming to write down all the things my kids should be doing at their respective ages, but it was also exciting! I am excited for them to learn some life time skills (and it will reduce my load, too).
Okay, on the patience thing, don't ask me why I saved this for last. Just a little observation. I used to think that patience was something someone either had or didn't have. A quality, not a skill. And while I do think that biology and nurture do make patience more difficult for some people than others, I now see it in a new light. I think it is also a skill to be practiced, honed, and bettered. And a habit to make or maintain. I suffered from some moderate depression in the spring, as I found out about my diagnosis, and the possibility that several of my kids suffer from ADD as well. As I've read more about it, I've found that post-diagnosis depression is very common (all the doomsday forecasting in the ADD books doesn't help! you will become an alcoholic! you will go to prison! you will get in lots of car accidents! your relationships will suffer! on and on. not exactly encouraging sometimes, though there are some rays in the clouds I'll relate when i get around to it!) Back to the subject. I was down, and I let myself get more snappish with the kids. I am not normally like that. But I let myself. And let me tell you, it's not just a matter of telling yourself you are simply going back to the way things were before, there are now impatient habits that are hard to break! So....just something to think about...patience is a habit. It is also a skill we can practice and acquire, not just something we are or are not.