Friday, September 30, 2011

Life, Conscious Discipline, and other things

Oh its been a while.  Its not that I had nothing to say... its just sleep is so much more important sometimes.

This weekend we made bubble prints at the maker's market.  The turnout was low, as expected since it was pretty cold and overcast.  Yet, the activity was well suited, and everyone who came enjoyed it.  Also it was great having help from a mathematician who studies bubble stuff.  She was a lot of fun.

Today I finally turned in our first grant application- I had to go back and sign the thing.  Duh.  It's a bit ironic because there's not much of left of the planning committee, but yet, the organization is doing things... well, at least I am, and the planning committee did do some important things that are still really helping.  So, despite the lack of commitment byt the original team (or impossibility of their time), I think I can still make it happen.  I get this feeling people still want it to happen, and people on my list come up to me and say how they read all my emails, and that it sounds like its going well and that we are making progress- and this is true for me and the project, its just less true of the building the organization part.  I think I just have to assume having a space will make that part come together.

In other news- my new shoe/hiker/sneaker things are amazing.  I can run in them.  I can not get wet in the pouring rain with them.  They are comfortable.

My little star has resumed walking to playcare again.  This is good other than me not getting any time until 11 am.

I found a giant tomato hornworm in my garden, and my little star completely enjoyed watching it for several days.  We left it out in a plastic washtub with some tomato stalks (I've got plenty of extra cherry tomato plants to sacrifice).  His biggest happiness, I think, was watching the worm "poop".  After a few days we woke up one morning and something had killed it.  It was kind of gross, so I took it out to the compost before little star saw it.  I was afraid he'd want to touch it more.  I think touching it is gross even when its just alive and happy, but I'm willing to encourage him to get more in touch with bugs than I ever was.  I think the exploration is positive.  There's no good reason to be grossed out by it, and I'm glad he's not... as long as he doesn't touch wasps, bees, yellow jackets, fuzzy caterpillars, poisonous snakes, scorpions (OK, we don't have those around here)- and POISON IVY.  I'm lucky he still touches plants at all after my craziness about poison ivy.  I've think I've dissuaded him from touching prickers too... but not pricklies.

We've decided we need to get him "evaluated".  I believe that means, we get to see if the kid is "on the spectrum" or not.  That is- is he neurotypical and just a bit delayed or is he fundamentally different.   I get this feeling the mental health person who observed him is used to parents who don't like to be told their kid is different or needs help.  She seemed to spend a lot of time being pleased that we wanted early intervention that I gather she spends convincing parents there kids should have some.

We've been going to Conscious Discipline parenting classes.  I actually find I get more out of the book (probably because there are two fathers who seem to have an awful lot to say to the class so it goes a bit slowly).  However, I'm glad for the class, because who knows how long it would take my husband to get through the book.  We are already doing some of the thing the philosophy espouses, but there are a ton more I could be doing a lot better.

 It's partly geared toward parenting styles people like me think nobody uses anymore (I'm wrong of course- I can tell that by listening to the parents in the class- quite the education).  It talks about not parenting through fear, and I think, I'm not doing that!  But...that some of the things we have substituted for the old "bad" way of things, are also not the best, and perhaps also have fearful undertones.  Of course the book explains this better than I am going to.  But here are some things I am learning to do better.

I just read the chapter on how to talk to your child, and I can see that I fall under the "passive" rather than assertive category far too often.  I also speak aggressively rather than assertively sometimes as well.  At this point I am now hearing myself in these terms, and it will certainly take a while to change such ingrained patterns of speech.

I also need to learn to take that deep breath, get out of emotional before I make a decision.  This aspect of taking control is why its called conscious discipline- you think about what you are doing- and the book gives you tools for doing it.  I also have to learn to turn conflict into more teaching opportunities- its funny how I espouse this, but don't really do it.  The book has tools.

The interesting thing, to me about this parenting book is that its not 300 pages with basically one main point.  It's many many points and tools.  It looks at many common behaviors, thinks about why they occur, and what appropriate responses are that teach our kids to solve problems and make better decisions.  It's also a self help book to help parents gain self composure and make better decisions as well because its sees parenting as modeling.

Well, you can see I've got lots of work to do now.

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