Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Little Angst in the Afternoon

As a mother, and especially now as a homeschooling mother, I've had to come to terms with my children's strengths and weaknesses. I've learned so much more about their personalities, and how that affects their reactions to the world. It's a process, of course, and impatience frequently rears its ugly head, but I think I've come quite a distance within the last year.

I suppose this process has made me more aware of how other people treat/view my children. I've always been the kind of mom who took it personally if people thought my children did something they shouldn't, but it was because I felt that I had failed in my task as a good mother. Now I find it hard not to be frustrated with people when they don't understand their behavior because I see it as part of who they are, rather than a huge fault for which they should feel guilty.

For example, Zaya is very imaginative little guy. That doesn't come as a shock to anyone reading this blog, of course, but it's surprising how little other people understand him. They think he's not very bright, sometimes, because he's staring into space, or pretending to be some single-celled creature with frightening accuracy. They get frustrated with him when he doesn't attend with complete concentration to their every word, or intuitively understand simple things like "you must always shut doors behind you."

Of course, he does need to pay attention, and shut doors, and pick up his shoes, and goodness knows I try to teach those things at home, but the fact that he frequently doesn't, does not mean that he is unintelligent, ill-mannered, or badly raised. It just means he's imaginative, bright, and forgetful.

Maybe I take things too personally, and people don't really believe those things at all. Maybe I'm projecting my own frustrations onto other people, but I know there's some kernel of that in most of his interactions with other authority figures.

I wish I could give out a little manual for him whenever we're in a new "class" type situation. It would be a strange read, I guarantee you, but it would probably save me a little heartburn, in the long run.


Lilibeth said...

The kind of people who would think him "ill-mannered" or "not very bright" wouldn't read the manual. They have already fixed ideas in their minds which they won't allow to be swayed by reason, sense, or innovation. I've been in your shoes many times and, oddly enough, still am occasionally. The only way for people like this to see the truth is to spend time with the child...talking and listening to what they have to say.

Chandelle said...

I can understand much of what you are feeling as I simply feel everything until it hurts. I know and believe you are a wonderful mother and your children are so very blessed to have the two of you for their parents, plus their other loving family and friends. Likewise, I know that Zaya is so bright and believe he will be used in such a mighty fashion by our LORD to be a blessing to people. People are naive and easy to judge, but that doesn't mean that any of their judgements bear any truth. This world tries to label too many things. Follow your instincts. You are doing what is best for your children. I will be praying for you and for a parenting peace. I know it is easy to type these things, and know how much easier it is to be rocked by doubts, etc., and that it is a challenge to look beyond. Thanks for sharing. You are an encouragement to many, and hopefully can help educate more. Love you friend!

aftergrace said...

I think he is a very bright, sweet little boy. We enjoyed his company very, very much. Hang in there, Not all kids fit into that "cookie cutter" mold that society tells us is "normal".