Originally Posted by MangoMamma
Embee, another amazing post. I was interested in the fact that you find yourself not shielding your son as much. I'm always worried that I tell my almost 5 year old dd too much and then she is always so afraid. Other parents often comment that they wouldn't expose so much to their child. I don't deliberately expose her to horrible scary things I just try to answer her questions as honestly as I can. Sometimes I err on being gentle and my explaination sounds like a lie. Sometimes I err by being to factual and my dd is scared. Long reply. I guess I'm saying I admire that you've found a way to be honest with your ds.
I totally get this. For me, it was this literal icky feeling in my gut, when I would attempt to "smooth over the truth." And, DS always taps into this anxiety. Always! Even when I try to "gentle over" a part of a book say, his
gut tells him that something is amiss and hence, the questions begin. In particular, the 'Little House' books make many references to "NOT CRYING." Laura, who is 5 in the first book, is NOT ALLOWED to cry because she's TOO OLD! Ack. It was a sign of the times, and sadly, wasn't far off from my own childhood. At first, I wanted to shield DS from it. I feared him applying this to his own life. But what I've found out, is that he has an intense interest in comparing life then and life today. Through play and conversation about the differences, he's learned a lot and has even seemingly put into perspective that people change over time with having better knowledge, etc.
For me, I think back to when I was a kid. I absolutely KNEW when my mom was holding back on me. That alone, fueled
my fears rather than relieve them, "Sheesh, if mom won't answer my question it must be really bad!" I often wonder if she'd just taken the time to explain things and then allow me to "play through" my emotions and fears, would I be better able to put life into perspective? I'm learning this now, but it's still a huge process for me. Like my mother, I tend to avoid things I find uncomfortable. Like her, I worry uselessly. With the help of DH, and some self-help, I'm working through this now but I hate to think of the countless hours I've spent in my life, worrying uselessly and avoiding things I might like to have experienced. It pains me.
As to scaring our children? No way around it. They are going to be scared of certain things. Things we tell them yes, but more often things we happen to come across and can't shield them from. I think it's far better to tell the truth (within reason of course) and then allow them to explore those 'not so nice things' with us, through play, art or conversation. They possess tools
for dealing with, learning from, and moving on, and we need only follow their lead and allow them to process the best way they know how. They are so perceptive and in tune with what they need to do. If we give them an outlet for learning and healing, then they are actually less anxious. They have both knowledge of, and power
over the problem and can then, let it go and live life.
Originally Posted by MangoMamma
Now I would like to ask a question. How do you play your ds's games for so long. My dd is always asking me to play games. After reading PP I know how important it is, yet the idea of playing dolls, barbies or "baby" terrifies me.
I'll be honest. Mostly, I do it because it's important. His need is strong and as a parent, I have an obligation to meet his needs. Yes, I do love it sometimes and this gets easier with practice and staying tuned in, but often times, I don't love it so much. But... I find the time spent is well worth it. When DS is working through "issues" he is happy, creative, and
more autonomous. He isn't spending time being paralizingly anxious about something or endless effort getting his basic needs met. This frees him up to love life, learn, and mature naturally. And on a selfish note, the time spent with him seems to directly correlate to the time he "gives me" by playing independently. Yes, the initial "deposit" I make can be a big one and patience is key, but it most often pays off for us both. Win/win.
There are days when I can barely face it and somehow overcome my own issues, play and we do ok. And then there are days where I just can't do it. Usually if I'm tired. On these days, I get us out of the house and that helps a ton! A trip to the park, the beach, or a longer trip to the BIG park in a neighboring town, etc. Sometimes, when connecting is hard, I find a change of scenery can get us back on track.
And then, there are the days when I fail miserably. Somehow, I've found these low low low points useful though. When I've sunk to the bottom (and there is proof of that right here on this thread
), it tends to strengthen my resolve. When rough spells happen, I find it's almost always about me. I haven't been making sure to meet my own needs and I have nothing left for DS. If he's rough around the edges, I can't help myself to help him. So, I stop doing chores on "my time" and go and take a walk, read my book, sit on the beach and think, instead. Once that's done, I try to get to bed early and get a good nights sleep. I'm not so good at this and it takes work! Then, the next day I put all else aside and actually "shadow" DS. Just follow him around all day and play what he wants to play. I don't look for miracles mind you. He's usually got some "mommy anger" built up and I might very well see it as well I should. It's important for him to "get it out" with someone he trusts and for me, usually the cause of his misery. But usually by the end of the day, we're on very good footing and can both move on. Yes, the house is a mess which is very hard for the OCD me, but looking at the big picture, there is no contest between that and my relationship with DS.
Now, in a few days or weeks when I'm losing it, I'll have to come back here and read this. Talk about a long reply! I think I'm having some pretty big inspirations and epiphanies as of late!