"When a child is the most difficult to love is when a child needs the most love." -Dr. Laura Markham
I recently heard this quote and it struck such a chord with me. There are some days that V is difficult to love. Not saying I don't love her, don't mistake me! I am saying she makes it difficult to openly and freely love her.
Days that I get phone calls from her school because she just can't behave. Days that I am exhausted and I still have to watch her as if she were three years old. Days that she can't keep her hands to herself, and will hit, touch, push, lick, or pick up her sisters when they are within arms reach. These days happen more often than the days where I can connect with her and enjoy her company. I feel forced into the role of a disciplinarian constantly.
I have had to learn new things about disciplining a child. This quote helps me to approach it at a different angle. When I am on my last reserve of energy and she is pushing every button possible, I wonder what would happen if I responded with love instead of anger. I wonder if I modeled a different way of handling my anger and frustration with her, would she would begin to use a different way of handling her anger and frustration with everyone else.
She has not been bringing home her spelling words. So we have not been able to practice her spelling words with her. I recently learned that she is failing every spelling test she takes, because she is not studying at all. I contacted her teacher and let her know that I am NOT getting the spelling list. She let me know that she is going to begin stapling it to the front of her homework packet every week so that we will make sure we get them. Due to her lack of practice she has been failing the spelling test and now I understand why. She had a complete meltdown at school today when taking the test. The principal called me along with our little V and let me know what was going on. Because I approached this calmly and with love for the first time I could see that she was reacting out of fear.
I could see that she was afraid that she wasn't going to do well on this test because she had not studied hardly at all. That fear led to an anxiety and anxiety for her usually leads to a complete meltdown. The school did their best to intervene before it got too bad and in calling me and giving me a chance to talk to her. I asked her to make better choices I told her how much I loved her and how much I knew she would do well if she just tried her best and I let her know that there was no reason to let this fear and anxiety lead her to making bad choices. I haven't received any more information from the school today so I hope that my words helped her. Only time will tell. This is an experiment in the making. But things would have to be better in my opinion handling it with love than with anger. I only wish I had understood this years before now.
As I was leaving for lunch today a coworker told me about a news story about a woman in New York City who threw a six month old baby out of the window of her apartment. The baby did not survive. I hate hearing things like this. I hate hearing instances where a parent's anger has led to the horrible acts of violence against children. I want to scream and yell at them. I want to tell them, "call me I'll take your child and I'll raise it before you do anything horrible to it". Children are only children for a short while. It's heartbreaking to me that someone can destroy a childhood. I wish I could stop it. I wish I could save every child in the world from everything horrible that could ever happened. I know our life experiences make us who we are today. Maybe it is part of the master plan that we have to endure things to become the people that we are. But I hate more than anything in this world to hear about senseless violence against children.
I feel less like I need support and encouragement and using this blog. I feel more like I need to take it in a different direction. Maybe I can reach someone who has a child with behavioral problems who needs an outlet. A parent who needs someone to talk to who understands exactly what they are going through. I've let my own imperfection stop me for long enough and I'm not going to do that any longer. I'm going to try to learn to embrace my imperfection.
You aren't alone if you had a difficult child. Never forget that.