I wrote the post below several weeks ago but had not published it yet. It seemed appropriate to post today as I am struggling with some issues Nate is having at school. The teacher/director says academically Nate is doing great; however, he continues to struggle daily with emotional & social issues at school. Having some kind of frustration/melt down is happening each day per the teacher's report. Today she told me the last two days Nate has been "exceptionally challenging" culminating with him hitting three different children at school today. She asked me to keep him home from school tomorrow, and then tomorrow afternoon we are already scheduled to meet together with the teacher and a psychologist. This psychologist is someone that the teacher has put us in contact with, and the reason for us meeting together is the hope that she will be able to give us some ideas/strategies/therapies we can use to help Nate. I am a little unsure about this meeting, concerned about if they are going to want us to have therapy sessions with Nate, thus incurring expenses for our family. Please keep us in your prayers. We need wisdom on how to help Nate.
I have some thoughts on my mind, prompted by parenting Nate, that I want to share. Maybe this is therapy for me and of no use to you, but I feel it may be beneficial to someone. Let me talk about being "the one". If we are at a gathering or meeting, my son will be "the one" who is wandering around, not sitting still, causing disruptions and distractions. If we are at church he will be "the one" who is talking out loud and trying to sneak out, or else climbing all over me. If we are the store he is "the one" who disappears in the blink of an eye and I have to track him down in another corner of the store. If we are at a friends house he is "the one" who is picking up things that he shouldn't or going in rooms where he doesn't belong.
And I feel like I am "the one" parent that everyone is looking down upon and judging. I'm "the one" people are thinking that I can't control/parent/discipline my child. I get really tired of being "the one". A long, long time ago, before I had kids, I was one of the observers/judges. After I had kids, and especially after having Nate, I no longer judge.
But I judge myself with much of the same measure that I'm sure people use against me. Does he behave like this because I allow him to, or is this behavior part of him and I need to work with him? Does he move around incessantly and talk at inappropriate times because I've allowed him to, or, despite all my best efforts, is this part of who he is & to try to force him to be something else is futile? Does he climb on me & lay on me during church, like a small child, because I've coddled him & allowed him to be "babyish" or is this something that he needs and helps him to feel comfortable? When he runs around wild and rolls on the grass play fighting with another boy after church, am I allowing rough & inappropriate behavior, or is this rough & tumble play something that his body needs? Am I "the one" who is to blame for the troubles he has with fitting into society's expectations?
I will be the first to admit I am not a parenting expert. I knew that as soon as I started parenting! I have started reading a book right now called "Sacred Parenting" by . The author's main point is that parenting teaches us and shapes just as much as our parenting shapes our children. In the chapter titled "The Golden Guilt" he makes a very valid point: "Parents take way too much credit for their children's successes and hold way too much blame for their children's failures." I am sure that I am guilty (!) of both!
I still have a lot to learn and understand about parenting, as well as about Nate. I will admit that I lean more towards "this is who he is, this is what he needs to be" and to try to accommodate him without disrupting other people's lives or expectations too much. I thank God that we seemed to have found a school where Nate can learn and grow but also have some freedoms to move around and be who he is, within reason.
We know that Nate is a gift from God. Even his name, impressed upon us before he was born, says so. This same truth has been reconfirmed through others since his birth. He is a source of joy & I know that God has a very special calling & plan for his life. Many times I feel unqualified & unequipped to parent him, but I know God has chosen to entrust him to us. I can only believe that someday there is going to be breakthrough for Nate. Someday he will find balance & he will become all that God made him to be.
Thanks for your love & prayers for our family.
God Bless You!