Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's Real Life: Dealing With "Your Child Has...." Issue


     
    No parent ever wants to hear their child is being disruptive or has a learning problem.  So when my son's preschool teacher handed me the number to our local Early Childhood Education services, I was ticked, angry, and embarrassed. 
     After all, I worked my tail off to teach him respect and manners! She proceeded to tell me Elijah's behaviors had gotten progressively worse and it was time to call them so he can be evaluated.
     On the ride home, I asked my son why he was disobedient and wild in class; to which he replied, "I get so bored in circle time and I was mad because the scissors were too tricky.


He Knew He Had Blown is Chances, So Why Bother?
     So when his teacher began describing his mishaps in class, it came as no surprise me. We were already dealing with learning to sit still, follow directions, and not seeking negative attention at home. That afternoon seemed to be the worst in my career as Elijah's mom. He was sassy and defiant. He knew he has lost his sticker for his behaviors at preschool which meant, he had fallen short of his goal to earn a truck at Hobby Lobby.
     He also lost his chance to attend a friend's birthday party; he had been so looking forward to spending the afternoon with all of his church and preschool friends. I was at a loss and felt so guilty. I questioned, whether or not to allow him to go. In the end, I took him to his friend's house after the party to drop off the gift. Again, I felt guilty that he lost out on the fun, wondering if he really couldn't help his behaviors. 

I Just Want My Child to Be Normal.
     It's one thing to have one child with a disorder or disability. It's another to have two and feel like others have labeled your child as defective. Looking back throughout Elijah's toddler years, I always seemed to be apologizing for his behaviors. And this wasn't the first preschool teacher to direct my attention to these issues.
     I just want my children to be normal and felt guilty yet again, thinking that maybe my kids had somehow acquired defective D.N.A. First was my oldest being diagnosed with Inattentive A.D.D., then Aspergers, and now my son possibly has A.D.H.D (according to the evaluations of early head start).

So Now What?
     No parent ever wants to be told their child isn't normal, nor does any parent want to be told their child is not behaving properly. So now what? Because I want my son to succeed, we will continue with the evaluation process, of course I will be brutality scrutinizing every finding because I know what he is capable of. I want him to be as normal as possible but if he needs help, so be it, just don't label him and make him stick out like a sore thumb for other moms to raise their eyebrows and ostracize from play dates. Help him but don't hinder who he was created to be. Give me answers but don't peg him as not normal or imperfect. 


Give Them Back to God.
     Now is when I hold my ideas, dreams and perceptions loosely of my child, maybe even letting them go altogether; at least until I have real solid answers.  Now is the time to begin turning into myself and listening to God. He created my children exactly the way they are. He has a plan and a purpose for them. He knows what He is doing. The question now is whether I stomp my feet and cry in frustration; or do I embrace it and find the best way to teach my kids how to be who they are created to be? 
    Hand your child back over to God, and embrace Psalm 139, let it sink into the depths of your heart:

13 For you created my inmost being; 
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
   your works are wonderful, 
   I know that full well. 
15 My frame was not hidden from you 
   when I was made in the secret place, 
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; 
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book 
   before one of them came to be. 
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God! 
   How vast is the sum of them! 
18 Were I to count them, 
   they would outnumber the grains of sand— 
   when I awake, I am still with you.
Psalms 139:13-18, NIV.

7 comments:

  1. My oldest son who is 15 now, had similar problems as far as not sitting still is class to learn when he was younger. Other problems which arise was he was a poor reader and way behind all his other classmates in reading.

    After having a meeting with his teachers in elementary school they TRIED to label him ADHD! My response was ADHD, back in my days did not exist, you went to school, you sat still and learned! Needless to say this started our journey in Homeschooling.
    My son is now in the 9th grade doing very well, making A`s and B`s through Abeka academy.org. Not only that but he also has his Black belt in Tae Kwo Do.
    I thank God for giving me wisdom to take my child`s education and spiritual life back under control as I continue to train my child up in the Lord:)

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  2. Ahem, the homeschooling thing once again. I am actually trying to discern if that is what my son needs as well as my youngest child.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Chelsea BickerstaffDec 15, 2011, 11:40:00 AM

    Heather, your honesty and transparency is so encouraging. I will be praying for you and Chris walk through this process!

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  4. I understand, for I have a child w/ ADHD.

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  5. I think it is all about perspective. Sometimes, we get so focused on what we don't or didn't want for our kids that we miss out what God is trying to say and do with the circumstances as they are. My daughter, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes a little over two years ago. She is not "normal" anymore but God has given her a perfect personality to "deal" with it. So, Elijah, may have ADHD. What advantages will that bring to his personality. Will he be more creative, etc? Also, think of all the discouaregment you have felt over the years in parenting him, wondering why certain things didn't work. Maybe it wasn't about you doing it "wrong". :) How is God going to use it to make him "Shine" for His glory one day? I think of the verse, "Do not grow weary in doing good." Keep going mamma, it will bear good fruit in your children!!! Keep training their hearts and then one day they will be equipped for God's plans for them. Love you my friend! Angela Loven

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  6. My daughters are both very active girls who have troubles sitting still for circle times or at church. My daughter LOVES preschool and as far as I know she demonstrates model behaviour there, but at home or in other settings is another matter. I sometimes find myself pulling out my hair in frustration. It helps to remind myself that this isn't about me - I'm not a terrible mom because my children don't listen. As you say, I need to focus on God's plans for my daughters and to pray that I can teach them what He wants them to learn. Thanks for sharing and encouraging me!

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  7. Wow! This sure sparked a conversation. I appreciate your insight, your struggles and tips. I agree with Angela, our children were fearfully and wonderfully made. Sometimes it's hard to understand when God allows them extra struggles. I am anxious to see how these struggles will mold my children for the better.

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