This is how I look like most of the day to my daughter. You see, we have this combination of little time, loads of work, dawdling, dreaming, requiring endless attention, seeking constant reassurance, not independant enough, very needy. Throw in worry about medication and her health issue and well, that is what you get. Everyday I get stressed to the max and exasperated beyond control.
I have to make sure that she gets enough sleep, rest and exercise while making sure that she completes her heavy workload of homework at the same time while worrying about the effects of the medication and any recurring seizures. It does not help that she does everything very slow. Going to the toilet for a pee can take 20 minutes. Mealtimes an hour. Bathtime more than half an hour. Doing a page of homework can be an hour. This won't do when you have pages of work. I have to make sure that she completes her work and still get enough time to sleep and rest and exercise. I just don't have enough hours in a day to make all that happen.
And in trying to ensure that it happens, I turn into an impatient monster. Like a fire snotting draggon with porcupine spikes.
It does not help if I talk to her nicely to explain to her why she has to learn to do things faster. It does not help if I yell at her (ok sometimes it helps) but then she is reduced to tears while doing her work, so pitiful, it does not help if I ignore her and leave her alone to manage her own work. Everything gets delayed and we have even less time. I just don't know what to do anymore. I have no solutions. Nothing works. I face this each and every day. It is driving me nuts! Everyday is a rush. And the end result of rush is impatience and finally yelling like in the picture. Not enough time = Rushing = Impatience = Yelling.
Somedays, I tell my husband, I give up! I give up! I don't know what to do. A lot of help that is! Of course, a statement like that only causes more problems and stress. He would tell me I am not trying my best. I think I've tried everything. Or he would say you are only telling me the problems, not the solutions.... and then I may tell him ok then why don't you try to get things done and he would say why don't you go to work then. Aaarrrghhh! Blah blah blah. Ok I don't want to go into that or this post will become even longer.
The point of this post is. I know I cannot have more time. There is little I can do about her schedule. She has minimum schedule from extra curricular activities accept for her piano where her piano teacher is rushing her like mad to complete her piano theory plus her school work of course. No other activities. No tv, no pc games, no dance classes, swimming, other games, extra classes from school etc. So sad for a kid. No time for play.
Just school work and music. I have informed the piano teacher to slow down on the practical part because we cannot manage it but as for school work. There is no way the teachers will slow down the homework just for one child so we cannot change that unless we change school. She is only in Standard Two. I cannot imagine what it will be like when she has to stay back for compulsory classes plus compulsory extra curricular activities in Standard 3 next year but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. Right now we are almost drowning.
So, ok, I cannot change her schedule very much. She is a rather needy, anxious child with low self esteem plus she is a perfectionist which delays her work even further. Everything must be checked and rechecked and erased over and over again to perfection. It just drives me crazy, the amount of time it takes to complete something. I know that losing my patience and yelling at her does not help her.
Some articles about patience in parenting suggest that you should lower your expectations on the child and on yourself. However, I feel there is no room for us to lower expectations. If we were to do that, work does not get completed and the consequence of that is even worse for her. Getting scolded by teachers, fear of school. There is no way around it. We just have to complete the work that is given. We cannot delay it.
So, the only thing I can change is my reactions to the situation. So now, I have a new goal. To cultivate patience in myself. Starting (from yesterday), I shall control my reactions. I shall give myself mental talks "How will this help?" I shall try to turn exasperation into humour. I shall control my emotions. I shall not get out of control. I shall work towards becoming more patient. I did quite well yesterday too. I shall persevere and work towards patience.
Lastly, some patience quotes to help myself along. To me, parenting is a lifetime journey of discovery not only about your child but about yourself. It is about growing and changing yourself for the better all the time.
Patience is the art of caring slowly. - John Ciardi
Our patience will achieve more than our force.- Edmund Burke
To lose patience is to lose the battle.- Mahatma Gandhi
Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears.- Barbara Johnson
If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.- A Chinese Proverb
Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.- Brian Adams
Tuesday, June 29, 2010