This is what’s up with her: she’s MUCH better. If you have been within listening range of me in the last month, go ahead and skip this post because I’ve already talked about it to you ad nauseum. (Sorry.)
By better this is what I mean:
--she isn’t hard to take places anymore. She still has trouble with transitions but I’ve learned how to deal with that 90% of the time.
--she doesn’t pull her hair out EVER. She still tries to make herself barf, but hardly at all.
--she has 5 minute tantrums instead of 45 minute tantrums (except today. But it was truly a total anomaly).
--she can calm herself down all on her own with the tools we’ve taught her. She doesn’t do it every time, but when she does I want to kiss her and cry all at the same time. (She tries so hard).
This is why she’s better:
--I prayed and prayed and fasted and prayed. I know there are people who will think that the things/tools/books/therapies that manifested themselves to me are the result of my hard work and my own mind, but I know that I found them because Heavenly Father listens to me and answers my prayers by bringing things into my mind and life that help me solve my problems.
--I read the Spirited Child that 7200 people recommended. It totally helped me re-work my mindset about the kind of kid Faith is and how to feel about it.
--We went to a counselor a few times for personal Faith advice. She was great. She says Faith is “an extreme example of a Strong Willed Child” but besides some possible anxiety issues in the future, there is no serious disorder or worry regarding her. (yay!)
--I received a few Priesthood blessings that gave me counsel for what I should do and confirmation when what I was doing was right.
This is what we’re doing to help her be better:
--Magic Breaths. My friend Melissa left a comment about these and when I initially tried I thought “NEVER will this baby understand how to utilize these breaths in the midst of a tantrum”. Until she did in the hall of the church when I said she needed to wait to have chocolate till we got home. Watching the cute little kid suck breath in her nose and blow it out her mouth in an effort to settle herself made me die of love and gratitude.
--Slowing down. I am learning that I would rather be 5 minutes later to the grocery store than force her into her car seat. I just make it her idea (“Oh WOW! JANE! You are buckled in your seat! THAT IS SO GREAT! Oh, you too Seth? Wow! That is so fun!” And in Faith goes, because she decided it was what she wanted to do.) and we have a much better errand-run.
--I don’t get angry. You know why? Because it’s not my fault she has a problem handling frustration. I was feeling so angry because I felt like her behavior was a result of ME messing up and so when she flipped out, I felt guilty and then angry at her for making me feel that way. When I’m not angry, I think SO much clearer and I handle her issues with love and empathy. It changed everything for us.
--Staying by her as she tantrums. I used to put her in her room, so as not to give the tantrum attention. That is apparently NOT a good thing with this type of kid. Leaving them in that out-of-control state is frightening for them. When she tantrums, I stay within a few feet of her (even as she runs away and screams at me “MOOVE PEESE!!). I remind her that I will be close by to keep her safe and I pull her hands off of her head or out of her mouth if she tries to harm herself.
--We use the same language every time. “Magic Breaths, Faith” or “You need to make your body calm. We’ll go back to the living room when your body is calm” or “We don’t hurt bodies when we’re mad.” That language is a trigger and she knows what we are saying, even through the crazy.
Why I am better:
--I love that girl even more (if that’s possible). Working with her, praying for her, sacrificing for her made me love her extra. Plus, watching her try as hard as I was made me appreciate her strong, smart spirit and filled my heart with love every time.
--I know I can be the mom my kids need! Sometimes you hear about women (hello, Shally! and many more) who truly sacrifice their lives/time/energy for their kids and you wonder if you’d have what it takes if that was your child. My situation was much more mild, but I was able to stretch myself and communicate with Heavenly Father and receive revelation and change my way of doing things and way of feeling and I HELPED MY LITTLE GIRL. Yay me!
Thanks for listening. Being a mom is truly such a mental, emotional, spiritual challenge. I grow and progress and do great things every day in this job. I’m grateful for good kids and the tools I need to be the mom they need me to be.