Recently I was interested to note that a post called ‘My Attitude‘ is one of the most popular on my blog. I couldn’t quite remember what it was about so I’ve re-read it and thought I would reflect on where I am now. So here goes.
- I am much more interest-led these days. If the girls show an interest in anything, I have learnt to value it (even if it means watching Frozen three times a day or playing Animal Crosssing for hours on end). I can see learning in everything, and I still tend to link (in my mind and on this blog, never to the girls) this learning back to school subjects, which I think will probably wear off as I deschool myself.
- Rather than getting the girls to do what *I* think they should be doing, I am much more inclined to join them in their interests instead. If there’s something I think they’ll be interested in then I try to strew it instead. As for maths (which is something I was evidently concerned about in my post) we generally don’t study it as a subject but it crops up everywhere anyway.
- I think we’re still a long way from M or D becoming self-directed learners *but* since last June M has lost a lot of anger towards learning and will now proudly talk about things she knows to family and friends… or anyone.
- I spend a lot of time sitting with the girls, joining them in whatever they’re doing. Probably too much time, judging by the housework.
So. All this sounds like I’ve progressed well in my attitude. But. I still have a way to go. I’m always trying to push myself as a parent (particularly as I seem to have landed myself with a pair of sausages that continually push me to question my beliefs and ideas) and I’ve read many books on parenting to help me along the way. I’ve just finished a book called ‘Autism Breakthrough‘ which has added a new dimension to my attitude. It’s actually about reaching out and helping your autistic child but I think the majority of it could be applied to a neuro-typical child too.
In a nutshell, the book is about ’embracing without judgement where your child is today, while believing that she can go anywhere tomorrow’. In the final chapter, the book talks about how your attitude can effect your child developmentally and it asks you to work towards changing just one of your beliefs in order to have a lasting impact on her trajectory. Perhaps I haven’t explained that in the best way possible but if you’re really interested then I highly recommend you get the book!
So, in regard to M (I was reading this book with M in mind) here is the first belief I have about her that I plan on changing.
- Event or circumstance: If I try to explain something to her, she is quick to say she doesn’t understand, when I’ve barely finished my sentence. It is pointless me trying to explain it differently because she sticks with ‘I don’t understand’ even though I feel she isn’t even listening to me. If I try and break it down/start again I get the same response. Sometimes this dialogue ends in tears (hers) sometimes she says ‘it doesn’t matter’ in a huffy voice, sometimes I finish it by saying we’ll talk about it later (while trying to avoid a huffy voice).
- How you feel/felt: Angry and frustrated. I KNOW she is highly intelligent. I can tell by the sort of questions she asks. But she seems blocked by something. Fear? Or is it her possible ASD? I also feel sad for her because she’s told me in the past she doesn’t think she’s clever.
- Belief fueling this emotion: If she freed herself up a bit she could do/learn more and maybe then feel less ‘stupid’.
- Alternate belief to adopt: When she says she doesn’t understand, I could actually believe her! So what if she doesn’t understand at this point in time? One day she will, in her own time.
So I will check back in 10 months time and see how I get on!