Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Educating of Mother

Imagine arriving at church with your family 10 minutes early, dressed in your Easter finest, prepared to sit quietly, listen to the prelude music, and be uplifted and edified. Other families are also entering the chapel and settling themselves down to hear an inspirational message. Instead a two-year old cherub decides she wants to change seats so she can sit by mommy and proceeds to resonate her beautiful voice whine loudly. The whining gives way to crying, even after mommy holds the little dear in her lap. No amount of threatening consoling seems to help. Mommy stands up to take the child out and the crying changes into full blown wails, “NO! NO! Don’t take me out, Mommy! DON’T! I don’t want to go out! Help!” This was our reality on Sunday. Little Laura informed us on the way to church that she was tired and cranky. Boy was that the truth! Church hadn’t even started yet and we were out in the hallway already.

We’ve all experienced embarrassing moments when no matter what we do our children still behave contrary to what we expected. (If you haven’t experienced that, then you haven’t been around normal children). I have left carts full of groceries parked in the middle of the store as I make a hasty exit with a disruptive child, profusely apologizing to a store clerk for abandoning it. I’ve struggled with trying to teach children who learn in different ways. I’ve also anxiously worried about a child who refused to talk unless there was just family around. (In the old days it was called being shy, nowadays it’s called selective mutism. Next they’ll be calling the condition of disobedience selective hearing.) There have been good days and not-so-good days in the educating of mother. But progress has been made and for the most part it is not the child that has changed but me.

I have come to realize that each one of my children is unique: physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually. Whoa! Did you know that? We are all different! So why was I expecting them to fill the same mold, learn the same way, be the same, when they are not? That one little discovery has made a big impact on how I treat and teach each of my children. Gathering information about the stages in a child’s development, the effects of birth order, and varying learning styles has helped also. So has a lot of prayer and patience.

Because they are different doesn’t mean they get to follow different sets of rules however. Each has to clean and do chores, but they can do it in their own way. Each has to be respectful and polite, and there are different ways to do that too. It is my job to guide them, help them, teach them.

I admit I dropped the ball on Sunday with Laura. She told us how she was feeling and still we unfairly expected a two year old to sit still for church. There are good days and not-so-good days. Caution: education of mother still in progress!

If you'd like to read more Woman to Woman posts or even participate just mosey on over to My Many Colored Days or Seeds From My Garden to find links to other women's views on this week's topic of parenting or grandparenting children that have difficult personalities... be they temperamental children or children with issues like ADD, sensory dysfunction, or developmental delays.


Jen said...

LOL! Well, it could be worse, she could have been yelling something really embarrassing like, "No Mommy! Don't hit me again..."

I didn't notice Laura's antics at all, I was worried that my children were disturbing yours. Sunday seemed like an off day for a lot on kids in the ward.

Morning Glory said...

In the middle of bursts of laughter, I found wonderful truths in this post. Thank you for sharing on such an important topic and for making me laugh, too. I like the idea of educating us moms. Boy, is it ever an education!!

I really have enjoyed your perspective on our writing topics.

An Ordinary Mom said...

"There have been good days and not-so-good days in the educating of mother. But progress has been made and for the most part it is not the child that has changed but me." I often think motherhood is more for us than the children :)!! How else will we learn to be more patient and how to willingly sacrifice so much of ourselves?

Thanks so much for your beautiful and well-written post. I enjoyed your insights!

Sunydazy said...

My education has come so far but still has so far to go! Thanks for sharing!

Code Yellow Mom said...

Sweet post! And so true.

I'm glad I found your blog today - I look forward to reading more!

Lei said...

It IS a constant learning process, isn't it? And I like that you pointed out that different children can all follow the saem rules. I think that really helps stabilize things if that is a constant in the home. Because goodness knows, my boys are different from my girls!

Julie said...

There ARE days like that, aren't there. What you say is so true - it is the education of Mother just as much or more than the education of children. It's all part of the process of this life. We are here to learn and to grow.

Lisa M. said...

*Chuckle* Yes, we all have had those embarassing moments, or at least I have.

I remember being totally mystified that my children didn't respond the same, like the same things, ect. Could they possibly be that different? I was raising them the same. It totally took me off guard, and I was so surprised by that.

This was a great post-

Lammy said...

I know exactly how you feel!
I had a similar day (you can read about it here: http://www.upsaid.com/lammyann/index.php?action=viewcom&id=16
Those wee ones sure do put us through the paces eh?

nestle said...

At least you made it to church. My kids had major melt down getting dressed, so much so that mommy said "fine you don't get to go to church." Ummm at least they screamed that they wanted to go. The promptly fell asleep for almost 4 hours. I think this happened on Christmas too. I felt like "Hmmm MOST of the Christian world makes it a point to go to church on Christmas and Easter even if they don't make it any other day of the year..... then there is us, we missed Christmas AND Easter Sundays." Sigh, I knew the sugar thing in the morning wasn't a good idea....

I'm going to fake Easter pictures next Sunday. :-) Hee hee

Calandria said...

great post, montse.