Discussion of Hold On To Your Kids
Hello! please post if you are reading or interested in reading this book.Hold On To Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers
I am reading it sort of not in order, and I haven't completely finished it, but I'm so glad that I found this book and began reading it now. I so needed it NOW, and I thought it was a book about teenages and preteens.
What do you think of the book? What resonates with you?
What are you doing differently in your family because of what you've read?
Have you seen peer orientation in kids? In yours? Are you trying to prevent it, or trying to reclaim your kids?
I have seen peer orientation in my siblings, and this book explains a lot of what I felt about what was happening, and confirms so many things for me.
Even still, I think my ODS (almost 6) and I were suffering from weakened attachment. It didn't start with peer orientation, but I think after the attachment was suffering, the interest in peers started going up. I'm so glad I feel like I will be able to stop that and heal our relationship now.
I totally see friends and playmates in a different light now. I think about how children are "socialized" by nurturing parents and not by "socializing" with peers. I make sure that while they are playing with their friends, I am thinking it is something fun, nothing more, and not having any kind of agenda for their playing with friends.
He is only in preschool for three afternoons a week, but I started to see the downward spiral in his behavior and attitude, the counterwill, the loss of motivation, the whole thing. It makes me sad that I didn't interpret his shyness and reluctance to be at school as a sign of our strong attachment, and I pushed him a little harder than I should have. Although I am glad that I respected his need for me to go into the school building every day with him, even though the teachers discouraged this. I still do it and he is able to tell me that if I don't go in with him he feels scared.
Until only very recently he didn't want to go to school for lunch (pure socializing time, and he was picking up very bad manners!) and I was making him. Now I think I will not make him go, and I want to work on all of our mealtimes as special family bonding time, something we have not been doing till now.
Understanding the attachment needs better has helped me rethink my strategy for schooling my kids... more about that later. But I'm really glad that we will have the whole summer to be together and strengthen our relationship before he goes back in the fall.
So my sad moment yesterday, well, we have had a ritual of sitting together on our porch swing in the mornings, I drink my coffee and we swing and sometimes read a book. There is a little girl who moved onto our cul-de-sac about a month ago and ODS has become very interested in playing with her every day. Like, if he ever sees her outside he has to *run* outside at that instant. So, she was outside and he didn't want to do anything except go see her. I knew I shouldn't have been so direct about it, but I wanted to preserve this ritual and make sure that our family time wasn't infringed on. In the past, I have found fun and easy ways of doing this. But this time, when I said he could go play in ten minutes, and he asked "Why" I said because family time was important and I wanted to spend ten minutes with him. And then he said, "Well, I don't like you." very nonchalantly.
I was totally surprised but I am so glad I have the ideas in this book to work with. I didn't react immediately, but I decided to bring them inside and once his friends were out of sight, out of mind, they were fine again and we sat and read and then I let them go out and play.
I have been remembering to "collect" them throughout the day and seeing a huge improvement in our connection. Also an improvement in ODS' behavior, but I want to remember that that is secondary and follows after the attachment. One thing I have been doing is to ALWAYS, always greet them and smile and show my genuine delight whenever I see them, even if they just come out of the bathroom, or wander into the room where I'm sitting at the comptuer
I was so touched last night when I came up the stairs, and I was just thinking I was running up to get a diaper for the baby, and my ODS saw me and said, "Hi mommy," and sort of offered himself for a hug, which I happily gave him. It was a huge difference to see that he had come to expect that, to expect that I would want to hug him, that he had become used to being greeted that way. No more sideways hugs from him!
Another thing I was reading last night and am thinking about doing more is "matchmaking" between my children and those who will care for them. We have a history of my ODS being very slow to warm up and not having close relationships with the grandparents. I think I can really make a difference in this area as well.
My YDS is only just three and I am just becoming aware of how I need to monitor our connection. When they're little and nursing and you're carrying them all the time, maintaining the connection is effortless, but now he's this totally independent little person and even though my relationship is smoother with him than with my ODS, it is still going to require my attention and effort. Sometimes it's just overwhelming to me to think how big our family is now, and how I have to be aware of my relationship to each one individually -- my husband, and each of my kids.
Those are some of my disjointed thoughts. Would love to read what others think and are doing with this information!