Thursday, May 06, 2010

A new day

Last night when I put JB to bed, I had a conversation with him that would have made my Grandpa Weber shit his pants. (My grandpa wasn't so much into the New Age way of communicating with children as he was into the if you must communicate, do it with a belt way of thinking...)

But I was literally out of ideas related to JB and I decided that what he needed more than anything else was, information...

I talked to him about why today was so bad for him. I talked to him about basic psychology... I told him that one of the reasons he is having a hard time is because of the change to a new school; and he doesn't know it, but changes are hard and this school change is one of the hardest he might have in a long time. And it is difficult and confusing to have fun at the new school but at the same time miss the old school... But that is all okay and normal.

I know what you are thinking: "T, he's 2, not 12..." but hang in there with me... I did feel like a crazy person talking to a 2 year old like he was a teenager, but it occurred to me that he understands a lot more than he has the vocabulary to query us about and "senses" a lot more than he has the coping skills to contend with. And we have a LOT of information that we are not sharing with him, including but not limited to our understanding of the world, info about stress and change management; psychology, reverse psychology, coping mechanisms, planning, scheduling, communication strategies, long term benefits vs short term gains, basic principles of economics as they relate to pyscho-social interactions such as lost-opportunity-cost, etc.

Though i didn't get into all of those things, he listened to me ramble about his day for at least 5 minutes during which time I reviewed tomorrow's planned schedule, emphasizing that tomorrow will be different and better. I told him what tomorrow morning would be like. I laid out the schedule and plan in as much simplified detail as I could: wake up, go potty, cuddle for a few minutes, get dressed, go have breakfast - waffles, etc. When I was done with the list of how tomorrow would go, I repeated it- TWICE.

It was a crazy thing to do, but (as I said above) I started to think the kid really would be reassured by more information than we've been giving him.

Katy will probably hit me with a large heavy object when she reads this b/c this is the type of conversation she is always hounding me to have with her: "Can we make a plan for the week? Can we make a plan for the morning? for the weekend?"

I'm not that great with planning, but it seems that this really helps humans function better. Hmmph. Go figure...

Perhaps it is the biggest coincidence of all time, but today was a completely different day with JB. Not one screaming fit. Nothing more than a modicum of whining this morning. Some of you might be jumping to the logical conclusion that we have an awesome kid- wise beyond his years, amazingly well-adjusted, and sophisticated in his ability to adapt. While I agree with this assessment, I also walk away from this experience bolstered by another thought:

I am awesome.

Sometimes things work out so much like how you wished that they would, that you can't help but take the credit!!!


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