Monday, September 13, 2010

Have a little Faith

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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.)

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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).

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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.

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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. 

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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.  

29 comments:

kara jayne said...

i'm so so happy for you and faith. you are again such a great example to me. thank you.

Lauren in GA said...

Kara Jayne beat me to it. Truly, Jessica...you are such a great example to me. Thank you. I am so happy for you that things are going so well. I had to chuckle at how cute she must look as she pleads with you to, "MOOVE PEASE!!" and also how those Magic Breaths must be a darling sight to behold. Good for you, Jessica. Good for you.

Cami said...

Really neat, Jessica. I am so glad to read this. There is a lot of wisdom in this post.
So grateful for your whole family's sake that you have good tools and divine direction with you.

Shirley said...

JESSICA! Truly inspiring! Thank you for posting this! Still love and miss hanging with you!

Christie said...

I'm so glad for you. You truly inspire me to be a better person.

Carie said...

This is SO inspiring. I'm a little teary. I want to be a good mom. Reading this helps me refocus. You (and Faith) are amazing.

Jeanelle said...

I loved this! I love being reminded that Heavenly Father will always answer our prayers if we exercise enough faith. I love knowing that there are such great moms out there who will go to any length necessary to help their children. I love hearing that it's totally possible to "train" a tiny little girl like Faith to recognize when she's being out of control and to help her stop the bad behavior. Fabulous stuff and you totally rock (as does Heavenly Father but I'm talking to you right now...I'll tell Him later!)

Rochelleht said...

WOW! That's what I have to say. WOW. On every level.

Kelsi {John, Jake, Georgia} said...

thank you. your words of encouragement and advice have been an answer to my prayers in dealing with a strong willed child.

Abbie said...

So happy about this. I feel like I'm reading something I wrote about Eli a year and half ago. Heavenly Father rocks! (is that irreverent to say? oh well, it's true). It's amazing to me how we really are meant to be mommas to OUR children. Yay for Faith! And you!

Robin said...

This is awesome. Thanks for sharing it so other people can benefit from your experience. Yay for you!

Lindsey said...

Yay you, for sure. It is a challenge having a child that requires a little extra special attention, but many times it can be a blessing as well. I am so glad you found the tools that you needed and that they are WORKING! Can you believe shally? Serious. That girl is as tough as nails. She puts us to shame.

Tristan said...

I'm so happy for you! And totally happy for Faith! It must be so nice for her to be understood. It is hard enough at that age.

This is truly exciting!

mandy* said...

I'm so glad things are better. You continue to be an example of amazing parenting!! If I had the time, I'd be your apprentice and learn from you in real time.

jessica said...

Your Faith/faith is awesome.

Elizabeth said...

That must be so empowering for you and Faith to know the solutions are in your (and your Heavenly Fathers) hands. It gives us all a little more faith in our own parenting journeys. Excellent news Jessica!

D-dawg said...

I read this post early today and have been thinking about it ever since. You should be so proud. You took it by the horns and fixed the problem. I'm so happy for Faith too. I love parenting for moments like this- so hard but so rewarding.

Ashley said...

I am so glad things have turned around. Those pictures of her are priceless! I am so happy for you and encouraged to try to help my ever- so-frustrated Brooke. Thanks for the inspiration.

J'net said...

YEAH! Happy life will go on this year 'cuz I know u r such a good mommy n Faith was a mystery to u!?
I've wondered how things were going n appreciate the update!! She's such a blondie! Adorable!!

Lauren in GA said...

I just woke up and I had to read this post again. I am just so inspired by it. Oh, and I love the clever/double meaning title and Jessica A.'s comment. I thanked Heavenly Father for your example last night. I appreciate your example so much, Jessica.

Shopper Gal said...

Not to be a total copy cat but I'm truly moved and inspired by this post. You remind me to be calm with my children and to appreciate their challenges. You really are an amazing Mommy! So happy to hear you have found great ways to soothe Faith!

the wrath of khandrea said...

love the title. i second the belief in divine intervention as well. sometimes i think, "wow. that was genius parenting on my part." and then when i reflect, i have to concede that it probably was more His brilliance than mine. darn it.

Michele Alger said...

You are truly an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your difficult but beautiful experiences. What a blessing and gift prayer is. One of my most testimony building experiences was when our ward fasted and prayed for your mom to get better. And, of course, she did. We knew it was the power of prayer. We love you guys! Hope you don't mind me finding you ;-)

Brooke Romney said...

Amazing. So glad things are going well and so glad to have you as a reference for me or others who have "spirited children." Way to go mom!

Margaret said...

Beautiful post. It's why I love blogs. Honest. Inspiring. Personal.

Margaret said...

Ok. I've been wondering. What are magic breaths?

Heidiram said...

When I grow up, I want to be a mom just like you.

Jill said...

Thanks for sharing. That was really inspiring and amazing. You are a fabulous mom to be in tune to your kids needs and then help them. I mean, that's what parents should do. RIGHT!? We are their guardians...we should guard them and guide them and love them. So many parents just don't do that anymore. Thanks for being such an awesome example!!

♥Shally said...

I am so happy for you!! I have been thinking about you a lot. You are an inspiring mother, and this must just feel GREAT!