Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I Know It's Hard

I have a forum for folks to post questions and get answers and where they can also “associate” with others doing a brain development program for their children. I was recently checking on that forum and came upon a post I made a couple of years ago. The message is so true that I just had to post it on the blog—-so here it is. BTW, you can find the forum at www.parentswithpurpose.com/forum or by clicking forum from www.parentswithpurpose.com . Memberships are free, but must be approved—which means you’ll have to complete the registration form.

Without further delay—- “I Know It’s Hard”

I’ve been emailing and chatting with parents a lot lately (there are several parents who will think this is written about them individually, but relax, it’s a universal thing!) and there is a common thread that I’d like to explore a bit—this program is hard. And some days, it’s even harder. Amen to that!!

Unfortunately, though, parents seem to have the idea that if they think the program is hard, then they are not good parents somehow. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Good parents have bad days. Good parents get tired. Good parents want desperately for their child to be well—TODAY. Good parents forget how far they’ve come. Good parents need support to keep on keepin’ on.

I want everyone to know there have been days I have personally said, “To heck with it,” and gone to the movies or out for ice cream. I have had days when I have been impatient with Dawson when he dawdled around or whined. I have had days when I thought maybe Dawson was well enough—everyone has their challenges, right? I have had days when I thought I would cry if one more person told me I was a) crazy, b) too tightly wound, or c) a neurological “pushy stage mom.” And, of course, there have been days that I did just cry.

After some time deliberating on the things other parents have said and my own feelings, I’ve come to some conclusions. Mind you, these are NOT final conclusions—just some thoughts.

The first was wisdom given to me by a dear friend. She said, “Brain development is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” Wow! It’s really okay that my son isn’t completely well yet. I haven’t failed because we’re still in the battle. None of us get to choose how long this will take or how hard it will be—-I would have skipped this challenge altogether if given a choice 9 years ago. We can’t run so fast that we don’t have enough stamina to finish the race. But we also can’t run so slow that we’ll never finish the race. We have to pace ourselves according to our child’s needs, our family’s needs and our own strength. When my children run track, I’ve seen runners completely fall, but still get right back up and finish the race. This doesn’t happen with sprints, but certainly does with long distance races. We can get back up, and we have to if we want to finish the race—the journey to wellness for our child(ren).

The next one I learned through the encouragement of a person whose name I cannot remember. On the days when you are completely overwhelmed and life is caving in and you think you just cannot do program today—-do just one thing. Don’t let one day go by without SOMETHING for your child’s brain development being done. This was true inspiration for me. #1–If I did just one thing, it was still something for his brain. I didn’t ignore the problems we have, I did something. It kept me in the race, even if it was at a slow crawl. I didn’t get out of the habit of working with him and thinking of brain development. #2–Often just breaking the ice and doing ONE thing, led me to realize I could do much more. I learned that getting started was often the hurdle I had the hardest time navigating. I often began days saying, “I can only do one thing today,” but then said, “Well, I can do two, or three or four,” until I realized I’d done most, if not all, of his program that day. So, do at least ONE thing every day. If that’s all you can do, it’s all you can do—but you’ll find it often leads you to do more.

A very wise man (Emerson) once said, “That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing itself is changed, but that our power to do is increased”. It is very amazing to watch the growth of our children AND ourselves. Of course you can’t get it all done every day AND clean your house AND cook dinner AND do laundry AND teach Sunday School AND write your Congressmen today. But you can start small and get a little better each week. This is the reason for distances and sessions to start small in the beginning—both you and your child need to build up your stamina and capacity. You will figure out how to overlap and dovetail important tasks, and you will also figure out what is and is NOT important. However, this will take your patient practice and perseverance. Your power to do WILL increase.

Matthew Newell is to be credited for the next gem. Keep the problem the problem. The program is not the problem, the program is the answer to the problem. It’s so easy to get a little discombobulated and wish we could make the program go away. We could make the program go away, but we would still be stuck with the problem. It’s important to keep the program in our minds as an answer—not a challenge. So keep repeating this in your mind, “The program is not the problem, the problem is the problem. I am solving the problem.”

I know it’s hard—doing the program is a whole new lifestyle if your child is struggling. But I’ve had children (a few ) who are “well” and I’ve found that PARENTING is what’s hard. I signed up to be a parent 24 hours a day 7 days week and to do my best to get them to be healthy adults who can contribute positively to society. That’s a hard job no matter who your child is.

Lastly—-call, email, or whatever (except text) when you need help. I’m here to help. Don’t worry about interrupting my busy life. I’ll let you know if another time would be better for me—-I promise. I WANT to help you and support you. For those one the forum, there are also some pretty great folks there that will give you a virtual hug and a pat on the back. Everyone needs support and we need each other. When support and love are shared, both the giver and the receiver are enriched. Allow others to give those gifts to you—reach out and let us know when we can help.

Hang in there! You are the most amazing and awesome parents around. I am a better person for rubbing elbows with you and am blessed to be in your company.