my challenge my joy

my 3rd daughter is what some say, even me at times, one of "those" children. the one that everyone says they have in their family. the one that I really hope and pray I am raising right and the one that I worry most about our relationship.
I am not sure why I am still up, I totally should be sleeping but I was lying on my bed my brain buzzing about my baby girl and I knew I should come and get it all out so I can hopefully gain a little perspective and peace.

she is our spark in our home.
she is the funny one.
she is the one who will defend someone if she feels they have been wronged.
she is my one with the strong sense of injustice.
she is tuned in to my emotions more than the other girls.
she is a contradiction.
she makes me cry the most.
she makes me frustrated.
she breaks my heart with her precious moment eyes.
she feels everything so largely and so in the moment.
she is my most misunderstood child, even from her own mother.
she has the potential to probably go the farthest in what today measures as standards of success.
her teacher called me tonight as a result of me writing her a note last week as she was called in to the principals office for rolling is soot at school. why was there soot at the school? I haven't figured that one out yet. apparently she slipped in it had the presence of mind to take off her good sweater and then proceeded to roll around in it..she was covered and when asked why she did it she said cuz the kids were laughing and I thought it was funny. she craves attention. any attention. her choices are not well thought through even for an 8 year old. she has been in trouble before at school and she seems to find the friends that are more than happy to find trouble with her, not sure how that happens but with her it does. she told the principal that she was sad about her dad and went into the story of how we moved not so long ago and then her daddy got sick and then her mommy went back to work and then daddy went to work and then daddy got sick again and then daddy left to work out of town and then we all moved and said goodbye to our friends and our big house with freedom to run and play and now we live down here and going to a new school and making new friends and my dad and mom are working and I am scared about my daddy being sick. so yeah from that perspective she has been through a lot. I know it, J knows it, now the new principal and teacher know it. I am not upset at their knowing it and I am not sure if this is going to come out ok but I don't want that, as real as it is, to be an excuse for her to get away with poor choices. in the meantime I do need to follow up the girls with some counsellings as we know this has all been so hard on them too.

I think the part that is harder for me with her is that she doesn't really need the extra help. what do I even mean by that? ahhhh. she seems to need a whole other set of rules. I have to remind myself that she needs different parenting that what I do with the other girls, from what even comes naturally to me most of the time. she is a reacter and when she reacts I end up reacting too..or vice versa. she thrives on one on one attention. I think her love language is quality time, something as a working mom of 4 cannot freely give, it has to be planned. I have to do more of it.
I don't like the thought of her being labeled, whatever that might look like. I have to make sure she doesn't get the same teachers of Em as she is what every teacher has called the "perfect" student and my H just doesn't fall into that mold. In fact I think she has made some teachers to think outside of the box, and not all are so happy to do that.

we are going to have a meeting next Thursday with the teacher and then with H all together, her teacher seems really eager to have her be known for the intelligent child she sees in her and not for being the silly one. that seems hopeful to me. while I resist others being harsh on her and there have been moments when I thought the teacher was being harsh I get the heart of her now and that makes me feel hopeful. the teacher is wanting to help H with being responsible and bring her planner back in every day signed. seems like a simple task and for my older 2 it is. not for her though, I see her dad's every day struggles in her with trying to remember where he laid something down 5 minutes prior! he has struggled so hard with this and I know it is a bone of contention for him still. I am sure it has to do with short term memory and I should look into some vitamins that will help that. I just don't want this to be a life long struggle for her too and yet don't want her to be punished (she has had several detentions) for something that maybe she just can't help. or can she? can she learn this? so there I go again jumping on the merry-go-round of motherly doubts, worries and apprehensions of my parenting skills of my possible failures and my daughters future.
she is my challenge
she is my joy


Anonymous said…
Like you said...every family has one of those children. Reading Dr. Dobson's "The Strong Willed Child" has really helped me.
Elle*Bee said…
She reminds me of my Son #3. He's 6 and can be summed up (not so simply) in a single word: "more."

Take any adjective, stick "more" in front and that's him! More happy, more sad, more thoughtful, more impulsive, more focused, more inattentive, more angry, more joyful. Not a lot of middle-of-the-road at all.

I recently re-read the book "Raising the Spirited Child" and nearly gave myself whiplash nodding in agreement with something on every page.

You nailed it though when you said different children need different styles of parenting. I'm still struggling to find out what works best with this one.
Victoria said…
Oh Lise, and can COMPLETELY relate girl!
Shash said…
I have an H in the form of Li Li, also my 3rd child. He had a teacher that "perfect" child #2 had -- the first words out of her mouth was, "He's no Em". No kidding lady! He is unique.

I've been reading a lot on the brain and the wonderfulness of it all. It is a powerful and hungry little thing! 20% of the carbs (good carbs) you consume on a daily basis goes to your brain. If you don't eat properly it actually starves.

Now you may think I'm going to sound like mom here but... it's amazing the research I've found! Not just the ill effects of dairy and wheat but the lack of certain vitamins is amazing.

B12 and Gingseng are just a couple things I'd recommend. The B12 will help with mood stabilization, memory, and mental clarity and Ginseng helps enormously with concentration and focus. B vitamins are so essential to our brain's function. The doctor can give B12 shot or you can find a good vitamin that goes under the tongue to absorb into the bloodstream (TriVita has these).

Ginkgo Biloba has been proven to help your body increase mental acuity and memory at it improves blood circulation to the brain.

Essential fatty acids like Omega-3 fatty acids (same kind that is found in cold water fish) are highly concentrated in the brain and play an important role in cognitive and behavourial function. Flax seed / flax seed oil is high in this to help 'cause sometimes the body doesn't produce it enough and if a fish diet isn't present.

K, that was much longer than I thought but we're trying new things with Li Li - I'll keep you posted on his progress!
Theresa said…
My youngest son was like that. I just tried to spend some one-on-one time with him whenever I could.

You are a wise mother and I'm sure you will take the right path with all your children.
Shash said…
I find with Li Li, he needs that special attention from a one on one date. It's so easy in a family of 6 for one to slip in the cracks, he's always so concerned that I haven't spent enough time with the other kids and he doesn't complain.

I was thinking of taking a trip your way with him actually. He could use it.
Yellow Mama said…
Glad you have a place where you can write it all down. Sometimes, just writing it down helps to sort it out.

With two older daughters and lots of lost sleep, tears and laughter, I had to take it moment by moment. It would have been a lot easier if children fit into a certain "type" and then all you had to do was plug them into whatever discipline and love that type called for, but they all seem to be combinations. My Dad says that you have to constantly be changing the approach...the love is consistent...discipline has to be there, but it is moment by moment. She sounds like a highly creative little lass. I pray for wisdom for the both of you to know how to parent all of your precious children...

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