Saturday, December 15, 2012
Why I Am NOT a Supermom
There have been many compliments. I appreciate them. There have been many who asked me for help, advice, or a brainstorming session. Thank you for trusting me to support and help. I have to say though, I am NOT supermom. Not by a long shot!
I notice that some of my friends get upset because their children do not behave the way mine do. They have even gone as far as to say that my children are just different and that children like mine are rare. This is not true. Anyone can behave in a responsible, kind, and helpful manner. It does take time, patience, and support to get to that point. Every person has his or her own timetable when maturing and learning.
My children were born with interest in learning about our world. They want me to be proud and they want to help. Most children, if not all, want these same things. When my children ask to help clean, I make sure they can in their own way even if they are very young. My two year old currently LOVES to use the spray bottle to clean the house. I have to make sure the spray bottle has only water so he doesn't harm the dogs or himself, but he can do it. By allowing this natural curiosity to bloom he will become a responsible adult. If I chose to ignore his interests and do everything without his help, he would quite possibly lose interest and begin to think that I am responsible for his behavior and choices.
My oldest daughter often will clean when I am in the shower or busy with her brother. She likes to help the family especially when it is her own idea. She is very much a self starter. If I ordered her around all day, even in a gentle way, she would not get as much done. Trust me, I have tried that idea before and it was not fruitful. When I stop micro-managing, the children do a lot more around the house. When I have fewer rules, they find it easier to help and their expectations tend to be higher than I think they will be.
Some children prefer to wash dishes or cook and others prefer to mop or garden. Not everyone will like all tasks the same. It can be advantageous to have all family members sit and talk about how they can help each other with little to no frustration. My daughters love to clean any mess that is not their own which makes me giggle. They would love for me to clean their dinner plates and in turn they are happy to clean the toy room and bring laundry downstairs. I clearly have the easier job when they choose to do this!
I want to also mention that two of my three children often have meltdowns due to their sensory issues. During these meltdowns they often do not realize other people are present. There is basically no way of calming them until the meltdown runs its course. So when people say that my children are easier than theirs or my kids are rare, I feel frustrated. No, my kids are not the exception. They are children who have had the opportunity to seize the day and express themselves. They have parents who are willing to rationalize why we keep our home clean and how we can help each other through actions as well as through respect. I have worked myself ragged to be patient, kind, supportive, and model positivity for my children. To say that they were born like this ignores my hard work as well as my children's hard work.
I want for others to know that every child has potential. If a child is not doing what you want, then take some time to evaluate the child's likes, dislikes, and other behaviors. Maybe you are expecting one thing and they prefer something else that is equally helpful. I am not blaming anyone here. Just pointing out that sometimes perspective has helped me to calm down and find solutions. No one out there is a bad parent because his or her child refuses to clean up toys or do any other chore. My point is that working with our children instead of against them can work out. If I can do it, so can you. I promise. :)