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#121 of 138 Old 04-08-2006, 10:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise K
Hey, I just figured something out yesterday. I get uncomfortable sometimes when DS wants to do a craft project, because he's so ambitious and wants me to do everything so it will come out the way he envisions it. Some times he does really get into the process of doing things himself, but not when he has an idea of the end product.....
Oh, this is good Denise. I'm so glad you pointed this out. There are times, often times, when DS is content to "create" for creating's sake, and do "all the work" himself. There are other times however, when he insists that I "do all the work" and I worry about this. For the life of me, I'm still trying to figure what the variables are that create these two situations. It makes total sense to me that there are times when he does already have an end vision and is perhaps is feeling overwhelmed at "making it so." When he's happily working along independently, he usually just stumbled across something and it lead to something else, and so on and so on... very important distinction here.

Sounds like your situation went one step further in that it wasn't about creating so much as it was you having one role and he having another in a much bigger play scenario than you first realized. I'm going to look for this next time something like this comes up at our house. I do imagine that I'll somehow realize that DS is just really feeling like "being the supervisor" at that moment and ya know, if memory serves, this is often the case!

Thanks for the insights!

We're ok over here. Things have been intense off and on and I wish I had ore time to write and get input, but it will have to be later as bedtime is nearly upon us... ugh, bedtime is one of our sore spots. Have to get back with ya'll later in the week!

Hope all is well!

Em

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#122 of 138 Old 04-09-2006, 10:40 PM
 
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"usually just stumbled across something and it led to something else..." YES. That describes perfectly ds's projects this evening. He was making musical instruments, then he was making brass (paper) sculptures of cliffs, then he was drawing long wavy shapes and cutting them out, then he was drawing the boiler of a steam train....When he's on a roll, he's on a roll, and it's pure creativity. I love that feeling, and I love seeing him have it, and I jsut stay out of the way. And now that I am remembering to chill out about him wanting me to "do it for him" other times, I can enjoy both styles of creating: the artist in a frenzy of inspiration, and the designer in charge of the technician.

Hope to hear more from you all soon. I'm kinda in a funk about stuff, and it always helps to get a dispatch from other parents who are trying.
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#123 of 138 Old 04-21-2006, 11:34 PM
 
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Hey All,

Thought of you today Denise. DS had a "you do it, I'll supervise" kind of day and though things have been rather disagreeable around here lately, our building of a ship out of blocks this afternoon proved to be the beginning of a healing upswing. Whew. I think DS has been feeling VERY overpowered lately and he's rebelling like anyone would.

DH and I talked about it and being honest we had to admit, that we've been letting the little things get to us more than ever lately. And... we ourselves have been negative, whiny, complaining and sarcastic about any number of things. Used our old rule of thumb of, "when things are rough with the kid, check your own behavior first." Indeed, we've vowed to kick up the positive atmosphere a notch and play like we mean it, darnit!

As for play, I've been rather tuned out lately so I haven't much to report. I'll probably check back in a few days when after I've been engaged for a spell. DS continues to have fears of all things NOT real (abomidable snow monsters, were-rabbits, etc.), however, is very curious and rather fearless about scary things which are real--we've been studying the "Titanic" of all things (thanks to Magic Tree House #17) and he's asked for very specific information, deaths of the people, etc., and while he's incredibly empathetic to the sadness, he appears takes the information in stride. I can't help thinking that sometimes I see DS as my own little psychology experiement, such a constrast in terms he is.

Well, speaking of DS, I've gotta get in. Bedtime awaits. Bedtime... better, but still a work in progress. DS is definitely in a Mommy mode which smacks of "growth spurt." Can't help but think about what's around the corner!

The best,
Em

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#124 of 138 Old 05-11-2006, 02:31 PM
 
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I have been wanting to tell you all about a great play moment that happened a couple of weeks ago. DS had a balloon and was playing around, and when he was leaning against dh's chair it popped, right by his head. Scared him--he yelled at us, left the room, shut his bedroom door, and was in there crying. He won't ever let us be with him when he's crying .

So dh was trying to talk to him thru the door, with only silence and sniffles coming back, and I thought of the passing things under the door game. I decided not to take over, but got dh a notebook and pen and suggested that he pass ds some notes to let him know he's not alone and that we care. He said OK, skeptically, and I went and did the dishes as he started poking a note under the door.

After a while I heard carrying-on in there, and then ds came and said MAMA, you have to come see the show! I went in the room and they had grandpa's welding spark-maker out, and ds told me it was the greatest fireworks show ever. So we turned off the light, and dh made "fireworks" go up and explode into sparks overhead, and ds and I watched. Big booms. I was scared, of course, and grabbed ds in terror, and he giggled so ahrd he was falling down. It was a great game for playing about fear, and it was exciting, and dh and ds figured it all out on their own. I was glad I got out of the way. All was well. Or anyway, weller.

We just got ds a bike, and he is ecstatic. He looks like such a kid, riding it--not a little-kid, or a baby.... He loves the speed and power of it--and he is still pretending constantly: it's a motorcycle, he's the police, he's a stunt rider, he's in a peace protest, he has triple-A. He wants me to hold up stop signs and then lecture him when he runs them, and he giggles all thru my lecture, riding around in circles. It's cool--I forget about that, how when your'e a kid, even practical and inherently fun things like bicycles get used as tools for imagination play rather than just transportation and action.

We went to the creek with ds and his friend the other day, and it was awesome how they played for hours without fighting. One was an otter, the other a mountain horse. They just had a blast, and froze half to death. It was good for ds to have a really easy play date with his buddy--lots of conflict lately between them, and that gets both of them down. This bears out my hypothesis that a good creek can fix almost anything, at least for a while.

Hope you are all well, and getting some play time.
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#125 of 138 Old 05-23-2006, 08:08 PM
 
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Wow, finally got through these threads! I found them a month or so ago, and have been trying to catch up! I actually got the PP book last fall and am almost done with it, but LOVE it. I started implementing some of it right away, like wrestling matches mostly (DS just turned 4). It has been inspiring in reminding me to try to be more playful and less serious too. My biggest problem is coming up with ideas! So, I'd love to stay tuned into this thread and hopefully lean on you amazing ladies a bit to help with ideas when I need them. Thanks for all the stories thus far -- they've been great!
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#126 of 138 Old 05-23-2006, 10:52 PM
 
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Welcome, Nemmer! It's been quiet around here for a while, but I imagine we'll start talkign again soon.

I am currently struggling with the "filling your own cup" issue. Particuarly, when do *I* get to play? I mean, laugh relaly hard, do things that are totally unproductive....quit THINKING for a while? Playing with Ds is sometimes lots of fun, but lately seems to be more a parenting activity than something I enjoy. I am tired of being so serious--or, when I'm silly, being silly *for* someone else.

No big ideas today, just feeling kinda overtaxed.
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#127 of 138 Old 05-25-2006, 10:40 PM
 
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Hey all!

Welcome Nemmer! Always great to see a new "face" around here.

Denise - Sorry to hear you're feeling overtaxed. Truth is, I haven't checked in here for awhile because I've been feeling the same way. Now, that doesn't make a bit of sense does it? This is the FIRST place I should come when I'm feeling wiped. Only problem is, feeling worn out tends to inhibit proper brain use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise K
After a while I heard carrying-on in there, and then ds came and said MAMA, you have to come see the show! I went in the room and they had grandpa's welding spark-maker out, and ds told me it was the greatest fireworks show ever. So we turned off the light, and dh made "fireworks" go up and explode into sparks overhead, and ds and I watched. Big booms. I was scared, of course, and grabbed ds in terror, and he giggled so ahrd he was falling down. It was a great game for playing about fear, and it was exciting, and dh and ds figured it all out on their own. I was glad I got out of the way. All was well. Or anyway, weller.
This is great. DH and I have been known to "compare notes" about playful approaches we use with DS. There have been times however when something I would do isn't accepted by DS when DH tries it and vice-versa. We've both had to find our own way largely, so I'm so glad that this worked out for your DH. What a great feeling it is when you can difuse a situation and reconnect.

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Originally Posted by Denise K
We went to the creek with ds and his friend the other day, and it was awesome how they played for hours without fighting. One was an otter, the other a mountain horse. They just had a blast, and froze half to death. It was good for ds to have a really easy play date with his buddy--lots of conflict lately between them, and that gets both of them down.
I hear you! Lately, DS and his buddy have been struggling off and on. They love each other, but have had to "learn" how to play together because of the vast difference in their temperments. Those days when they can pull it together and focus less on the "self" and more on how to keep the play going, are so wonderful. And not to toot my own horn, but I do credit my own playfulness with DS to some extent. He's had me completely at his whim, and he's bossed me around plenty to which I'm a pretty good sport. I do wonder indeed if at times he taps into that and is able to have more give and take with his friend, being that he's usually the one that tends to be more reasonable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise K
This bears out my hypothesis that a good creek can fix almost anything, at least for a while.
I couldn't agree more.

Things are looking up here. The last two weeks have been busy, hectic, fun and beyond all, tiring and over-stimulating (but mostly in a good way ). At any rate, I'm terribly happy to be back to our usual homebody selves.

Lately, DS has been mulling over the concept on competition. His buddy is VERY competitive and I admit, it tires me out. She has a little sister and is hell bent on everything being "even." I put that in quotes because often times, "even" means that she should have more. *sigh* I adore this little girl, and DS and she are like siblings in many ways but this is the one thing I could do without. I do think for her, "winning at everything" is something she's chosen to fill her cup. I think she could use a more traditional cup-filling from her very busy mom. I feel like she comes to me half empty most days. I adore her mom by the way, but still, half empty. I wears me out.

As for DS, he seems to have a fairly healthy attitude about competition UNTIL she starts making it a huge issue, "I won! I was first!" In that mocking tone you know the one. Only then, he starts hurting when he doesn't "win" when before it was just all in fun. I try to steer them away from competitive pursuits because I'm not convinced it's at all healthy for kids this young, and particularly this twosome.

Mostly, DS likes the process of things, playing the game, running the race, etc. He is not so concerned about who wins. Usually. He's thinking it all over, I can tell. Today, he suggested we make some paper prize ribbons and then hold some races in the backyard (hop on one foot, roll the ball, walk backwards, etc.). It was just the two of us and well, I kept trying to "lose" and it was clear he just wanted me to "do my best" and then whatever happened, happened. I ended up winning two ribbons to his one and all was fine. We had great fun.

Still, I could really use ideas for how to deal with this between the two kids. His buddy is seemingly offput by my usual playful approaches (let's see who can be the slowest, or me trying to run in the race and falling all over myself). And when I try to facilitate discussion about the fun being in the "playing and doing your best" and NOT who wins, she shuts down. To her, this makes no sense whatsoever. She's a very creative, imaginitive girl who loves to play, BUT... she does tend to lack a certain sense of humor and so I find it hard at times to connect with her through PP. Instead, I just have to draw the line, call off the competition, and thwart. I hate that.

If anyone might have some ideas here I'd love it.

The best,
Em

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#128 of 138 Old 05-26-2006, 10:12 AM
 
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Briefly, since I am stealing this moment at the computer--

Glad to hear from you again, embee. Spring is crazy. About competition, Ds has the same trouble w his friend, who unfortunately is faster, stronger, and more coordinated than ds. And w his other friend, who is just plain bigger. Friend 1 particulary tends to gloat with that nanny nanny boo boo kind of song.

I try to find them things they can be allied in--one last year was they were both in the pool and I wd come close saying (drama) I hope they don't splash me, oh no--and then you know what happened. Or I will be a bear and chase them both. Or sometimes try to think of things ds is particualry good at, comfortable with, for them to do, so he can feel competent--but not set it up as a competition.

Maybe you could work on winner behavior--like some kind of ritual you do after a race that includes both. I don't mean formal ritual, but like a rhyme or a handshake or somehting, to honor the winner's winning and honor the other kid's excellence too.

"Siblings without Rivalry" --old book, but still useful--has a biunch of stuff abotu competition/comparing that I am trying to use with ds and his friends. Might check that out--I've jsut started workign with it, so I can't tell youmuch.

Peace
Denise
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#129 of 138 Old 05-28-2006, 06:21 PM
 
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Thanks for the welcome everyone! I think the biggest struggle we've had recently is helping DS adapt to all the change we've been through recently. He's naturally introverted and hates change anyway, so this upsidedown life has been hard on him. He's having a really hard time adjusting to church again, and won't stay in his class by himself. Even when I stay with him, most of the time he fights me, screaming and kicking. Today, though, we had a really good day. He actually seemed to enjoy himself, and I have hope that within a few months we'll be able to work on his ability to stay by himself. I've tried a couple times to play out the scenarios at home, but he has no interest in that. We've had a few fun PP moments though. He seems to act out his frustrations on the dogs, so I've started playfully telling him to pick on me instead, which usually turns into a wrestling match or a chasing game. He made up a game where I'm a monster, I chase him, but then when he barks like a dog, I have to run away scared. It's pretty cute, and I can tell it helps him with feelings of powerlessness to have a way to deal with being scared. He gets scared a lot -- overstimulated easily by noise (I suspect some mild SID, honestly), and scared by change, and the idea of mom or dad leaving, so I'm trying to think of a variety of ways to help him discover coping strategies. I think just reading a chapter or two in PP helps focus my mind in a playful direction, even if I just end up reading the book over and over. Just thought I'd share. Hope you all are doing well!
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#130 of 138 Old 05-29-2006, 05:51 PM
 
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Hi,

I'm new to this thread (though not to Playful Parenting). I'm glad to see this thread.

I just wanted to reply to Nemmer -- I too have a naturally introverted son who has mild SID issues (I do urge you to have that looked at -- we've just started OT for SID and he LOVES it, and is making great progress with lots of sensitivities (tactile, climbing).

As for staying in a class by himself -- several thoughts. First, at our church, kids aren't expected to stay in a class by themselves until K or 1st grade, and even then, you'll see a fair number of parents in the classroom. So, while some 4 year olds DO stay well in a sunday school classroom alone, I think majority are much more happy with mom/dad there. We actually ASSUME the parents are going to be there and the 2s, 3s and 4s get a larger classroom because of it. I've seen TIME be the biggest cure for this. At 4, ds would separate at preschool, but not Sunday school. This year at 5, he's fine without us, though we often stay anyway.

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I've tried a couple times to play out the scenarios at home, but he has no interest in that.
Sometimes if the play scene is too close to reality it's too much like the real thing. What if you played out "separation games" -- if he's running away from you at the park, you can stop and say "no, don't LEAVE me!" and see if he laughs -- if he does, then continue. Or play with his trucks/trains/dolls (whatever he likes) - have all the trains drive away except one and then you be that one and play sad. The key here is the HE gets to decide when he gets to come back (or the rest of the trains get to come back) so he feels the power of separation/reunion.

Our son loves to play school (aka daycare), but ONLY if he initiates it. We spent a lot of time playing school when he was 3 as separation was very hard for him and he was reassured by the re-enacting the routine at home. He's his own best therapist, really!

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#131 of 138 Old 05-29-2006, 08:34 PM
 
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Suscribing and learning.
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#132 of 138 Old 05-30-2006, 02:41 PM
 
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I do urge you to have that looked at -- we've just started OT for SID and he LOVES it, and is making great progress with lots of sensitivities
The one thing I've had a hard time figuring out is who we see about it, and if our insurance covers it. I looked on their provider list and I don't see any pediatric OTs, but it does list some regular ones (seems like we could get 12 visits/year covered), would a regular OT help? I imagine I'd just start with my family doctor? His symptoms are so mild, I haven't been feeling too urgent about starting therapy, but I don't want any "windows of opportunity," as far as age goes, to pass him up, if that makes sense.

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What if you played out "separation games" -- if he's running away from you at the park, you can stop and say "no, don't LEAVE me!" and see if he laughs -- if he does, then continue.
Thank you for these comments -- they reminded me of another game he has made up and seems to love (talk about self-therapy, indeed!). He'll often tell me "you be sad you lost me" and so then I cry hysterically with huge dramatics about losing my DS, and he will giggle and laugh, and then announce "I'm back!" He'll ask for this over and over. Is there any way I can help this game, or does that sound like with time it is all the "therapy" he needs with this separation issue? I'm just not sure if I should be trying to steer it at all, or just let it go as is... thanks for the feedback, though!
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#133 of 138 Old 06-02-2006, 04:09 PM
 
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Nemmer:

Check out the resources at:
http://www.spdnetwork.org/
They have a directory where you can search for OTs.
http://www.spdnetwork.org/directory/search.html

You want someone trained in SID.

In order to have your insurance cover this, you usually need to get a diagnosis that the insurance companies recognize. So our son's is "Disorders of the Nervous system" and "Dyspraxia."

Start with your family doctor, but don't be surprised if they don't know much about SID - you may need to bring "The Out of Sync Child" with you and encourage them the do research.

If his issues are mild (like my son's are), then short term OT can really help -- my son LOVES going, and he's learning to be much more comfortable with his body in space. (And he's only been going a month.) He's also, with the brushing protocol, much better able to tolerate tactile stimuli - he's willing to go barefoot outside, something he would never do before.

It's reducing his anxiety levels tremendously. And I'm hoping it will make him better able to focus/listen when he starts school. He has a hard time sorting through noise to make sense of information. (He's as sensitive to the sounds outside as he is to the teacher's voice.)

For this kind of thing, earlier is usually better, but with mild symptoms, it's not like missing a few months is going to make a huge difference one way or the other.


Quote:
He'll often tell me "you be sad you lost me" and so then I cry hysterically with huge dramatics about losing my DS, and he will giggle and laugh, and then announce "I'm back!" He'll ask for this over and over. Is there any way I can help this game,
Sounds like a great game! I wonder about 'steering' as well. Sometimes I do, like being "happy" that you're "lost" because that means you get to decide what to play ALL the TIME. I guess I'd try and see what happens. If he doesn't respond, then go back to being sad and let him direct.

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#134 of 138 Old 06-17-2006, 04:54 PM
 
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Hi all!

It's been ages! Things here have been mighty playful as DS, (as usual) has been working through life's many issues!

I had to share one thing that happened that is straight out of the book! I've mentioned before of DS's playmate who has a extreme need for control. She comes to me half empty most days and it's been some work trying to see into her behavior so I can help her while she's with us. At any rate, the two kids weren't really connecting so much the other day as she refused to play "Little House" with DS. She loves playing "Little House" but because it wasn't her idea... you get the picture. At this point, DS decides he needs to do some entertaining. He does this sometimes, acts all silly and makes her laugh and this tends to break the ice. He proceded to take his doll (who plays the part of Carrie ) and "threw her out the window." DS's buddy started giggling at this, and could NOT resist joining in and took the play to a whole new level, throwing the doll out the window many times with GLEE! This girl has had some issues since her little sister came along a couple of years ago. Their relationship with each other has still yet to develop and she still tends mostly to crave her mom's attention and pretty much ignore her little sister as if she didn't exsist. It's made worse I believe that they have instituted some rather "strong" discipline (long time-outs, threats, coercin, etc.) since little sister arrived, and little sister being younger, has yet to be punished. This girl is hurting, and when I saw them doing this, I thought of the chapter of Dr. Cohen's only child "playing" with her siblinged mate with the doll. Very illuminating. I encouraged the play (of course!) and we had good laughs about where "Carrie" would end up once thrown, "Sheesh! She's practically in Tin-Buck-Too!" We giggled a lot and when DS's buddy came up to me, I said, "My goodness but you threw her far" to which she replied, "I never threw her." This has been another theme going on with her. That she's almost "too good" at times. Trying hard to please and denying anything she perceives as, "wrong doing." Even with me wholeheartedly playing the game with them, she felt the need to deny. I felt sad for her. Lately, she's taken to being a real "pleaser" with me also. Wanting to do things for me, etc., and I've had the feeling more often than not that she's not doing it because she has a valid interest in these things but more of a (hate to say this) "brown nosing" sort of way. She also likes to point out when she's been good and DS has not (according to her that is). When they play "Little House" DS is always Laura and "acting up" and she is always Mary, doing everything right and I'm beginning to have much more reverence and appreciation for my DS's behavior which at times can drive me crazy. At any rate, I'm still trying to get her to open up more and play less controllingly. I see her need well and if I had her all to myself, I'd be more than happy to follow her lead fully alas, I have to figure out ways for them to play together when DS doesn't get smooshed.

And speaking of Little House... when it's just DS and I...

DS and I watched an episode together several weeks back which had Laura in trouble all the time with a new teacher. Though she was mostly innocent, she bacame a scapegoat for the teacher and he punished her repeatedly by hitting her hand with a ruler, making her write on the board a hundred times, stand in the corner, etc. We don't punish (as a rule, but I have inadvertantly punished to my horror). This was DS's first time trying to wrap his mind around the idea and it's been a whopper. It's been weeks and weeks and we are still playing "mean teacher" a lot. It's clear he's working all of this through in his mind and just recently, I learned from our play that it isn't justl about being uncomfortable with punishment, but also he couldn't understand why he actually LIKED the episode. On one hand, he was stunned and angered by it and on the other, he found it rather entertaining. One small conversation in the middle of our play made me realizing that he was working through some guilt as well. He loves Laura and couldn't understand why he would want to see this episode and feel both ways at once. Very powerful messages he's been sending, working through mixed feelings and such. As usual I've been following his lead. I play a pretty good "mean teacher" and so does DH for that matter. I love that DS has a VERY clear idea of what we need to do and I follow that completely. It's clear he has the tools to work it through, I need only listen and follow along. It's beautiful to see him making sense of things, and I know by following his lead and allowing him to call the shots, and joining him enthusiastically, our play together is--beyond anything else I could possibly do--healing.

At first, I kicked myself for allowing him to see the episode. Thought I'd allowed him to see something he couldn't handle, but I see it differently now. We were reading the back of the DVD jacket and he insisted I tell him about each episode as he always does and it was clear that this one interested him in strongly. Disturbing yes, but something he clearly wanted to explore. I do believe that kids are naturally drawn to those things they wish to work through. I see it every day and we need only play along and allow them to do so. He plays the part of Laura VERY well, and has even added some kicks of his own; throwing erasers, talking in class. And then, one day he even wanted to switch roles and be the mean teacher. All in all, a helpful and theraputic experience for him. And for all those times I've inadvertantly punished (yelling, scolding, etc.), he's working through those too I believe.

More and more, I'm "shielding" DS less from life's not so finer things. It occurs to me that he's showing me that he has interest and is ready to explore certain tough issues. And I'd rather have him explore them now, through the wonders of play and with myself or DH, rather than be left to work them through alone (or avoid them completely) later. I remember as a child feeling completely perplexed about so many things that "weren't for my ears." So much I needed to work through and wasn't given the chance. Hence, I've spent a lifetime fighting fear of "the unknown." I love that DS wishes to bring these things to light. KIDS ARE SO AMAZING!!!!

So that's us right now. One minute, I'm Miss Beadle, the other mean Mr. Applewood. And sometimes, when we're "home" I get to be, Ma.

The best and happy playing!

Em

Whew! Long one. Apologies!

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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#135 of 138 Old 06-18-2006, 10:45 AM
 
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#136 of 138 Old 06-18-2006, 12:31 PM
 
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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.

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.
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#137 of 138 Old 06-18-2006, 03:38 PM
 
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Quote:
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.

Quote:
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!

The best!
Em

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#138 of 138 Old 06-20-2006, 10:39 PM
 
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I've decided that the long-windedness of my posts are a direct barometer of how inspired I'm feeling at any given time. In other words, beware the two sentence post by Embee... she's possibly going over the edge.

Hey, I wanted to pop in and (OMG!) add a little something to that last thread in that, mostly, it's a momentum thing. The more I play, the less effort it takes to play. The benefits are so apparent and beneficial to all that NOT to play would cost me more time, and DS more frustration than is worth it. Ten minutes here, 30 minutes there, 3 minutes here... just as long as I'm willing to stop what I'm doing at least some of the time and focus on what he needs and play along.

Ok, I won't make this epic. I'm embarrassed quite frankly that I can't seem to get all my thoughts orderly enough to reduce my post size! Sheesh, my DH is an editor for goodness sakes. Maybe I oughta have him look at my posts before I press send!

The best to all!
Em

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