Saturday is the best day to get to a Friday Five, don’t you think? I just love Kelly, at Mrs. Disciple.
Yesterday Today she is encouraging us to celebrate victories in parenting. This is FANTASTIC, because it has been a good week.
Two weeks ago, I probably would have heaved sobs trying to write this. But life constantly fluctuates and this is an “up” moment. We are coming out of a plateau. Last month, in just over 5 weeks time, my precious little peanut and I put 7,000 miles on our car driving to therapies and classes. It was time, energy and money well spent and now we are moving forward again.
My best homeschool days are every other Wednesday. That is most certainly because I get my house cleaned every other Tuesday. While Alma scrubs and vacuums I organize, put away and toss. The breathing room created leaves more room to homeschool the way I REALLY want to. This week was that time. I actually did these 5 Things that make mothering life feel victorious…here are my suggestions for you:
Give Attention To The Areas You Want To Change. Parenting a child with special needs guarantees there are deficits…somewhere. I am reading several books about the brain, and using that information to influence our choices.
In everyday language, the brain gives extra attention where there is stimulation. We are working on writing and speaking, so before we got our work going I woke her mouth up with various speech tools, and gave her hands a massage with lotion. I am telling her body, neurologically speaking, help me teach her. This is brand new to our routine, so stay tuned to see how it helps!
Start Where You Are Strong. Review. Review. Review. Learning is layered. Trying to build a new concept on top of a failed concept is like building a house on shifting sands. It doesn’t make for long term success.
We have to repeat things thousands of times for them to stick with Ryan. That is not an exaggeration. So we repeat and praise; repeat and praise. Then we repeat and praise again. There are many times when the number one goal is to NOT get discouraged.
Get Your Wiggles Out. Lazy parenting breeds bad behavior. Recently I had a challenging night with my youngest, and I knew that much of it was because she had too much energy left over at the end of the day.
(Did you know rolling down a hill is one of the most neurologically stimulating activities?)
The best mom-days for me are when my kids go to bed wiped out. Brains and hearts full, bodies tired from sunshine and movement and (hopefully) laughter. This is why I love summer. Water parks, swimming pools, picnics and bbq’d peaches with balsamic vinegar help me be the mom I want to be.
Invest In The Things That Matter To You. We do church every Sunday. We pray before every family meal. Bible Studies are a regular part of our world. Through Brighten A Corner and greeting at church, service is a given.
For our teen we also invest in her world view. We send her to The Young America’s Foundation because we believe in knowing how the world functions. We read. We clean and cook when family comes to stay, so that they will enjoy being here.
We are being more intentional about inviting her friends to do things with us.
We have access to a good counselor when we need it.
Sometimes the wheels come off the bus in our family–just like every other family out there. But when we have invested in things that matter during the good times, it is easier to get back on track during the bad times.
Grow. We are building a garden.
My mom has a wonderful garden space in her yard that was completely overgrown. California has suffered a record-breaking drought, and so gardening was a luxury no longer necessary.
Funny thing…weeds don’t seem to care about a drought. The grew anyway.
This is a winning proposition in a million ways. We spend time with my mom. We remind ourselves that life is like a garden…weeds grow, need to be pulled, grow again, and need to be pulled again.
We have sown seeds and watched them grow.
We planted plants and watched them get eaten by earwigs. We planted more and protected them from said earwigs.
Now we are maintaining the plants we have by watering and weeding. Next we will turn the garden into an art project. Red and yellow sunflowers, grown from seeds we planted, will color the fence line. Ryan will paint the herb box and paving stones.
All the while we talk about the process and progress.
Sometimes she is fully engaged. Often not so much. Once the food is ready to be picked, however, I KNOW she will be excited about harvesting and cooking.
All in all a good week…
And God looked at all He had made, and indeed it was very good. Genesis 1:31