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6.12.12

Coconut coated curve balls


When life throws you curve balls, roll them in coconut.

Or something like that.

Over at our place, things have been both good and not very good at all. Life is like that, isn't it?

I don't want to go into too much detail because it's Maxi's story, not mine, but I just wanted to write a little bit about some insights I have recently had into this parenting jaunt. That is to say, it's often not much of a jaunt at all...

So, I've talked here and there about the fact that my boy is an anxious type. Well, to be honest, I don't talk about it too much because, like I said, it's Maxi-Taxi's story. It's Maxi's thing. I've always maintained that I think his anxiety is the reason why he wouldn't sleep as a newborn (and still doesn't). I think he just came out that way.

Anyway, he's always struggled with things that are much bigger than he is and recently I've discovered that they are much bigger than his parents are too. We called in some reinforcements to help him learn some new coping skills and it's been a huge relief. It's early, early days, but the fact that someone else is going to help us help my boy feels like they are carrying part of the enormous burden that parenting can be.

The thing about this parenting non-jaunt is that it gets too big for us sometimes. There we are with our newborn baby and nothing, nothing on this great earth, can prepare us for what's ahead. We stumble around, seeking solace in the writings of experts who can really only tell us about every child, not this child. Sometimes we need those experts to get to know this child.

This child.

Bold, thoughtful, radiant, complicated. And so I channel my inner, roaring Tiger Mother and push. I push him off to school and push him to eat. I push him to try his best and I push him to sleep. I push when I'd rather just pull him in close and tuck him snugly under my wing, but under there he can't fly on his own... so I push. I push him to know that he is fine just as he is.

Every day I am thankful for the fact that each of my children is healthy, capable, hopeful, caring, neon-aglow. There is nothing more that they really need than that. Nothing more.

Sorry for the rambling post. I think I am out of practice. And somewhat distracted by the huge love I have in my heart that is currently doing second grade maths up the road.

Do you parent an anxious child?

{Image found on weheartit. Please let me know if it is yours.}

31 comments:

Brenda @ Mira Narnie said...

oh this was me Term 3! I parent an anxious son too Bron....the first year at school was such a huge step for child and parent and his take on the world just didn't fit that curve bell they love so much to box everyone in. We called in re-inforcements too (i love that word now!) and can safely say, slowly slowly did the dust settle. Here I was thinking with one child at school my day would be half as busy....boy was i wrong! much love sweetness on you and Maxi's journey to finding what fits and what works for him. I've missed coming past this here lovely space, but now I know why..your family needs you xx

mel @ loved handmade said...

I do, boy do I!!! We've been dealt a curveball like no other this last week. In hindsight I can see clearly that it's not been a sudden thing but building over the years, and yes, he was just born that way. Parenting this beautiful, intelligent and incredibly sensitive child is way bigger than me right now, way bigger, and we have called in professional reinforcements that I hope and pray with every ounce of my being can help. I want to blog about it but I can't, it's too big and it's not for me to share. So I understand you, and send my love to you..x

Mrs BC said...

Hugs, Bron. Big big hugs. The thing I find most frustrating is that you cannot walk their path. You can try and sherpa them along the path, and run aread and maybe clear a few obstacles, and try and hustle them onto the actual path; but you cannot control the steps they take, the one foot in front of the other. Sometimes it isn't as simple as not letting them hide in safety under your wing. It's heartbreaking. Well done to you for bringing in reinforcement sherpas.
xxx

Anna Spargo-Ryan said...

Yes I do. I completely relate and have no real advice at all. As an anxious mother parenting an anxious child, we mostly just rock each other to sleep and then cry, which might not be that helpful actually.

I hope Maxi can find some reprieve one way or another.

Tas said...

It sounds like we are at the same place as you with our sensitive, worrying middle child at the moment. We have also reached out for help to try and get some coping skills for both him and for us now rather than further down the road when it might just be that much worse.

Dustyn said...

Big hugs. I don't parent an anxious child however I was that child. Thanks to large support groups and thoughtful friends, mum did pretty good considering. I'm still quite anxious but it's something that I'm working on now.

Hannah said...

Yes and I'd rather pick them up and go some place where the world can be entirely of our own making.
hugs, ox

Daydream Living said...

I don't think you are rambling, in fact this is one of these post I will remember, Love the way you write Bron! Love those 2 little words.... 'This child',
All the best, virtual hugs,
Maureen x

Naturally Carol said...

I don't have this particular thing going on with mine..but have learned that there are pretty much no 'every child's' out there. The eldest was a driven child..very self driven..not me..in fact not like me really either...so he didn't fit in particularly. The second..a girl..very shyly started school..but very individual..had a couple of good friends..loyal to a 't'..but definitely not an 'every child'...walked to her own standard. No 3...a rebel...still that way..also walks to his own beat...definitely no 'every child'. Next boy...a bit autistic..I'm happy he found a job he likes in a paint shop...that will probably be forever. Mr No. 5...married at 21 to an older lady..creative..started uni as a mature age student..definitely never was an 'every child'...he got told he should smoke as many cigarettes as he wanted to by a high school counsellor to relieve any stress he may have...he took her very literally for a while. I don't have 'normal' kids...but you know what...they're not doing half badly now they're older. I am thinking that..with all your love..your boy will make it..and not badly either!

Kelly Exeter said...

I don't parent an anxious child but I have been both anxious child and anxious adult. Master Maxi is very lucky to have parents who are ... aware. That's a really big deal B :)

Megan Blandford said...

I have friends who are dealing with things like this at the moment, trying their best to navigate their way through it and do what's right for their little girl. I applaud you for seeking help and doing the best you possibly can. x

Sally said...

Yep. We're working with the reinforcements too. Biologically I've passed on the anxious gene, but I'd like the lessons of managing that gene learnt now while the pathways are still being built so that living with this pesty gene is an easier journey for my child.

happylan said...

I see a lot of pushing when I'd rather pull him under my wing in my future, Bron, and it is very hard. My Mr Anxious starts school next year. Best wishes xx

MultipleMum said...

:-(

kell said...

Oh Lord, I can relate to this. Good on you for calling in the reinforcements, everything helps. From reading what you write here Bron you sound like an amazing mum, and those children are lucky to have you. Good luck with it all and especially these last few weeks of term. From my end am seeing lots of unsettled behaviour around the traps, (some of it mine!!)Take good care x

Rhi@FlourChild said...

I love how you've written this Bron.
My boy is an anxious one too (he also didn't / doesn't sleep well...) He's just started kindy here and my heart was sooo hurting with worry for him. He was doing so so well, and is enjoying it, but now some girl has started pushing him around - like, every single day, she pushes him over, and he cries, and it's all he talks about when we get home. I've talked to ALL the teachers about it, but they must surely think I am over-reacting because he is a big boy, being pushed by a little tiny girl. He will never push her back. He wakes up talking about whether Magali will push him at school today! I fear it's going to ruin his whole education! (ok, drama queen, maybe) Anyway, I hope you and your Maxi work out some good mechanisms for coping and thank you for sharing. Sorry this comment is all over the place. Like you said - a piece of my heart is down the road right now. xxx

Miss Pink said...

Your beautiful boy makes me think a lot of my own.
I think as a mum you just know that sensitive doesn't even begin to cover it and you want so much to toughen them up, to help them build a callous to it, but it just doesn't seem to work does it? No matter how hard we push, even when our instincts say to pull.

Hoping you guys get the support that you need.

Melissa Stebbins said...

My eldest is anxious and it was such a relief to call in reinforcements. One of the best things was that she taught me the tools to manage my daughter and gave me back some confidence in my parenting skills.

Mel said...

We have a beautiful anxious boy here. I cried down the phone for help when he was 3 and am so glad we did. We found the most wonderful child psychologist who gave us ( rather than him) some great coping skills that we were able to pass on. I will be forever grateful that I made that phone call and didn't wait for him to " grow out of it". My heart swells with pride each time I see him overcome an obstacle and push himself forward. WIth the anxiety often comes a higher level of sensitivity and I think the world needs more of that.

Mama of 2 boys said...

Wow. It's so true isn't it? You think having a newborn is rough... but it's nothing compared to the complexity of the child. I can already see, that in many ways, parenting and growing up etc... only gets more difficult.
And I also understand how you feel about sometimes just wanting someone else to step in and help everyone to see the light. It's a mammoth job we're undertaking, we're just doing the best we know how. It's good to hear there is relief in sight for you and your family xo

Lisa@RandomActsOfZen said...

Bron, thank goodness Maxi has the very parents he needs.
We had a few years of on-the-edge anxiety, it's only in the last 12 months that Bell has really grown into her own confidence.
Help from school and other professionals has seen her start to look at challenges differently.
How much easier it would be if we could just keep them sheltered and fight all the battles for them, but I guess that would be no preparation for life.
As hard as it is, you are finding solutions, and that can only be a positive thing.
Stay strong and always remember that you're not alone xx

Catherine said...

It's a hard one. I take things day by day but it's not easy. At night the constant getting up has started again so I thought of a couple of techniques which seem do have helped. The first is to make sure we follow a routine exactly each night. I put on some classical music to help with the relaxing and I also have put a book and pencil by her beside table. I suggested that if there is something on her mind that she wants to talk about to write it down so we can talk about it in the light of day. Night time can be a tricky time to deal with problems. Each situation brings with it issues, pushing I find so hard and tiring but they can't grow if you don't. I hope in time Maxi finds things easier and all the work you are putting into giving him coping skills will all make for a brighter future. Take care Bron. xx

Giving Back Girl said...

I can so connect with this Bron and your little guy. My little guy is quirky and walks his own path in life - normally life is ticket-boo but every now and again, his differences rear their head and we teach him to cope and be cool, and (god i hate saying this) ummm, "blend" a little more. Because the sharks in the school yard feed off difference. We celebrate his quirks but not everyone else does, our depth of love for him means we have to help him not protect him. Still that doesn't stop the pain and my tears of indignance at times. It's a tough gig being a parent sometimes.

Toni said...

Not anxious, no -- but all of my kids have been 'oddballs' and haven't fitted in well at school.
I know the worry. I know the wanting to keep them safe. I know the relief when you finally get some help.
"Different' kids are always more special to me.

ally said...

I can relate too...
Sending you hugs and strength and hope
x

Lipgloss Mumma said...

Heart strings tugging. I miss your beautiful blog.
You are so right, this parenting thing can be hard and sometimes we need help/reinforcements. Village and all that. Maxi is so lucky to have such switched on and plugged in parents, I know he will be fine..amazingly fine.
Our Miss 7 can be quite anxious. She is such a sensitive fragile soul that needs something extra. I know sometimes I'm not the best dealing with it, but I also know we will find a way. xxxx hugs and more hugs xxxx

Cat from Raspberry Rainbow said...

I was a very anxious and sensitive child, and I parent a very sensitive, and some times anxious child. It is hard. For her. For us. Some days are fine, some (not many) are so difficult I question why I had children.

I became a much less anxious adult in my early 20's after 18 months of weekly therapy from a psychiatrist. He taught me coping skills and helped me change my thinking - in a positive way. I am very long sighted (my eye sight) and I was in my mind too. I worried myself sick about things that might happen in weeks or years to come. I worried myself sick about what other people thought of me. But I learnt how to change all of this, and I am honestly such a better, happier, much less anxious person for it.

I know you can work your way through this. Parenting is HARD, but we are all in it together. Cat xox

Mandy Ferry said...

I wouldn't describe my child as anxious. (not all the time) but when we are in situations she can display it, like this weekend, in a room with all her class mates, wanting a piece of cake, too afraid to speak, too afraid to ask. I just don't understand, I can't get my head around it. I try and force but I've learn't now that that's not really the answer, and whilst I don't understand I need to accept. parenting is definitely a tough gig. I hope the supports help.

Jane said...

Oh Bron, you darling girl. This mothering gig cracks your heart open, doesn't it? Thank goodness Maxi has you and your beautiful, overflowing heart to help him find his way. You can do it, Bron. I believe in you. J x

Amanda @ mammajoy said...

Yes yes and YES. I hear you on all counts. We began treatment with a psychologist for our 7yr old daughter earlier this year. Best thing we ever did. I remember feeling like such a failure that I couldn't understand her or know how to help her - and yet when my hubby and I first visited with the psychologist and explained our struggle I felt this massive weight lift off me. It's okay to share the burden. Somethings really are out of our league, and I believe anxiety and certain personality traits really require a team effort with some highly-trained people on your side! Hope there are some sunnier days ahead for your Max xo

rhon said...

I do not parent a particularly anxious child, but I am an anxious mother. I understand how he must be feeling because I struggle with this as well. It is not easy or fun and everyone telling me to "just calm down" never helped. I applaud you for turning to someone else and getting help instead of just doing this on your own.

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