Thursday, November 19, 2009

Therapy Thursday (4) - What I have Learned So Far

So I have been going to family therapist for several weeks now. The big question is how am I doing? Good. The one thing all parents know is that parenting is a fluid process. We are just trying to make not just through the day but the next five minutes. Our children are like land mines, you think you are headed in the right direction avoiding impending doom and then boom, you  hit a landmine. You just never see it coming. For those of you who are doing great avoiding land mines,  I commend you.

I, on the other hand, continue to try not blowing up on a daily basis so this what I have learned so far.
Consistentency  is the Key (DUH!) - Having a routine is the key to one's sanity. Unfortunately, life happens and once a routine is thrown off, it can takes days to get back on track. I have learned that on Sunday, we need to be back home by 6 at the latest to get the night time routine started and hit the 8:30 bedtime otherwise, it takes until Wednesday to get back on track. My daughter needs her beauty sleep.

Even-Numbered Playdates - Like adults, three is not a good number (unless you are participating in a menage a trois and even those don't usually end well.) With three kids on a play date, two of the kids  inevitably always gang up on the third kid and this just goes on all during the play date. So we only have a playdate with 1 or 3 kids.

Only have playdates with other well- behaved kids or semi well -behaved kids -  I have learned that we can not have playdates with "wild" (this may be a little exagerrated) kids. It just doesn't work even if the parent is engaged and on top of their child. The kids just  feed off of each other and they just don't listen and it just becomes frustrating to have to go in tell them to stop all the time. And the more importantly, once the kid leaves, the after effects are just crazy. My daughter just does not listen and it takes maybe a day to get back on track.

Don't Engage and Don't Negociate - This one I KNOW but am working on. I just can't stop myself from continuing to negotiate. As my therapist continues to tell me. You are the Benevolent Dictator, what you say goes.! Sure, easier said than done.  Not so easy, when you have a very verbal, always thinking on her toes kid. How do you respond to someone who tells you it's rude to walk away, when you are trying to not engage? She is right. It is rude.

I am sure I will continue to have these Aha moments and keep working on being a good parent.


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