Use your Super Powers Wisely
When to Listen and acknowledge behaviors immediately in children.
Knowing when to get help for yourself is hard. Especially when you have to be superwoman everyday. But as a mother, knowing when to get help for your child, is and even harder pill to swallow.
We don’t want to admit that somewhere along the line we dropped the ball. We don’t want admit that for once second we were overwhelmed with life, and whatever the child was going through they wasn’t nearly as important. I’m here to tell you that while mental health for adults is imperative, ensuring the mental health of our children is even more so.
Kids are going through so much more today then we ever could ever imagine. We’re here in this digital society that has created platforms for objectivity where subjectivity exists within. Everything is judged! And it makes it harder to live up to those expectations when they’ve yet to even establish who they are.
Retrospectively, children come into this world full of innocence and wonder. All they want is to enjoy life. But during life’s progression, they’re confronted with the pressure to conform or be isolated. This is when their initial goal is lost, and the mindset that society dictates makes them or breaks them must be immediately adopted.
I decided to do an assessment of my children, and quickly identified that at each stage there was a need to “get help” because of the social stressers that were presented.
For my 2 year old son, I observed the creativity and curiosity in his discovery of things he could do and say. It amazed me how excited he was about simple tasks such as going to the bathroom. Not because reward associated with it, but the overall accomplishment made him happy. He had internally manifested gratitude, which was easily expressed in his behavior.
That was when I thought to myself, right here is where I wanted to keep him. Overjoyed and content with his abilities as they came, not needing to meet specific milestones whithin a timeframe. He was ready, when he was ready all on his own.
Next, I observed my 6yr old daughter. My middle child is force to be reckoned with. Her intelligence, boldness, and tenacity shines through. She’s always so proud of her achievements, just as we are. Being from a homeschooled setting, she always knew more than the other kids and displayed it with confidence.
And while the teachers adored and showered her with praise at school, it was the other children whose opinions seems to have the most impact on her emotionally. Because of her willingness to include and be included she was subjected t0 being called names like smarty pants and miss know it all by the other children in the class that struggled. This caused my child to become withdrawn and stopped volunteering to assist the teachers in reading or answering questions.
Concerned they immediately made me aware of what was happening. My darling babygirl has to be reminded everyday that there was nothing wrong with being too smart, smart people make the world a better place.
She said that she was only trying to help them know what she knew. We had to encourage her to keep using her voice which was almost silenced trying to fit into what other people were doing. If we didn’t Influence a change of her mindset, she could have easily internalized it and let it spread. However thankfully we addressed it just in time.
Finally I will talk about my oldest, the 13 year old teenager. Let’s face it teens are interesting. They are emotional, hormonal, anxious, and challenging. Nevertheless we love them and even though we’ve dreaded this day from coming, it’s here here and they do exist.
This is the stage where we have to really remember where we are molded into the adult we will become. We are at the crossroads of development from foundation to future, and it is essential that we watch, listen, and seek Intervention where and when needed. This is where it’s not about what we’ve done it’s about what we should do.
We gave our oldest child the same upbringing as our other children. She however, was by herself for 7 years and her brilliance shined through glistening like the snow on a mountaintop high in the sky touching the suns glow— Sorry went into poem mode right there for a second.
But she was such an amazing child, and her experience alone made us feel like accomplished parents. We would High five each other and chest bump her achievements because she was an amazing kid, and she knew it.
But we decided it was time that she got some different exposure so we sent her to public school. It probably was not our best decisions and should have chosen private, but the options were limited.
So mid 5th grade year we sent her to a public charter school. She remained there for 5 weeks before we had to withdrawal her. She came into the school with so much confidence and within 5 weeks my child was coming home crying every other day. I decided to stay home and continue homeschooling her for the year.
We thought the worst has passed, and even found a school we all agreed on for her 6th grade school year.
So 6th grade began great and by mid year it went completely south. The friends that called her friend, decided they didn’t want to be her friend anymore because she refused to do the things they did. She refused to get bad grades so she can be moved to classes for the “bad students” so they could hang out. She refused to bully and pick on other kids because they stood out or were different, or because someone else didn’t like them. She refused to participate in “boy chasing” or letting herself be treated disrespectfully because a boy thought she was cute, or had a nice shape.
No she choose to hold true to her values and self respect, and as a result my child because the victim of all of that antagonist behavior. Day after day she came home feeling like she was just an outcast, like something was wrong with her. Day after day I was having to comfort and encourage her to go to school and focus. Day after day I had to bring myself up to that same school and have meeting with the principal, counselor, and teachers to resolve the issue or I would!
Finally the year ended but the damage was done. I spent all summer assuring her that the next year would get better but it wasn’t . Same drama, same storyline with some additives.
Nevertheless I watched my child sink further and further into depression, and I had to admit it to myself that she needed help. We started getting her into activities that would encourage self esteem and sisterhood with other like minded kids. I joined church, and other groups to have hang out days with the kids. I got her counseling and even had to put her on antidepressants for a short time.
This was indeed a humbling experience because I praised myself on being this attentive mother, but I didn’t want to take ownership for the fact that I allowed it to go on for too long before getting her what she needed. I assumed her will was strong like mine and she could push through it. I quickly learned that while she posses great fortitude and will, she still just a child needed guidance love and attention.
It could have went the other way. She Even told me she thought about it at one time because she became so overwhelmed at school that she sat in the bathroom and just thought about making it all go radio silent. I’m so glad she didn’t and she came home and talked to me. Too many children today aren’t doing that, or the parents aren’t listening or seeing the cry for help.
Please pay attention before it’s too late. Remember they’ve been entrusted to us for a short time in their lives, and we are responsible for them.