Posted tagged ‘child’

Introvert Game Changer

January 29, 2010

One too many fights between the sisters got me annoyed.  I had to do something or I was going to start screaming.  What was the deal??

I formed a hunch — space.  Big sister aka. introvert hated little sister messing up their room, moving and touching the big sister’s stuff and generally being annoying.  Hence the constant bickering or constant big sister yelling at little sister.

Except, I really wanted the girls to share a room — philosophically as much as physical space wise.  I wanted them to stay up and giggle, to be good friends, to share, bond . . . you know, like camp!

My own childhood memories of my sister and I in our room are great – playing dress-up, listening to music, laying in bed while mom read us a book and the occasional locking little sister  in the closet.

But, as I still am learning, this is not me.  They are not me.  I must do what is best for them and all that . . . sigh.  Big sister, my seven year old, needed her own room.  Now.  Or I would be suffering.  (We all would.)

So, I moved little sister out and across the hall.  My husband and I moved into a small little room at the end of the hall with our only television, a love seat and bookshelves lined walls.  Surprisingly, I loved it — even if I couldn’t walk around the side of my bed.

Life for big sister changed from day one.  I saw huge behavior changes.

Bed made.

Clothes put away.

Toys in baskets.

Desk clean.

Smiles.  (Gasp!)

She’d grown responsibility wings and flown!  Game change!

Gone was the bickering with little sister.  Gone was the child I worried about so much.  In her place, a new, mature young woman, acting friendly and responsible.  All I can attribute it to was a room of her own.  Incredible.

Books on introverts say it’s important for innies to have their own space . . .

I guess they are right.

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Love is (hardly) unconditional

August 30, 2009

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This week I’ve noticed myself getting annoyed with my daughter — I mean, really annoyed. Why?

Because she doesn’t do what I want her to do. She doesn’t talk to people, she barely talks to me. She doesn’t make eye contact. She is moody. She doesn’t hug. She doesn’t say, “I love you,” — except for the one time. She, quite frankly, challenges me.

I keep getting this phrase in my head, “Love is NOT conditional.” Over and over. And, it won’t leave. Right.  And as seen in the list above, I’m seriously conditional! But, I so don’t want want to be judgmental or conditional.  I hate it.  I feel stuck with my awful feelings.

But, today in church, things became clear.  The pastor spoke about seeing others through Jesus’ eyes, not our own.  We see the outside.  Jesus sees the heart.

Suddenly, it clicked.  I could apply this to my daughter and get unstuck.

I saw her behavior.  The outside.  (And got irritated.)  Did I notice her inside?  Her heart, her fears,  her introversion?  Well, that’s a no brainer.  No, I did not.

Wow.

I don’t normally blog about my faith but in this case, it’s relevant to how I can better love my innie daughter.

My life hasn’t changed in an instant but my vista is different.  Rather than a sky filled with menacing clouds, raining on another turbulent day, I choose to see beautiful shapes, shades of gray, smell of fresh rain, and glimpses of light.

I pray that with my new vision, my eyes can see the beauty in my daughter’s spirit and my love pours forth, unconditional and with abundance.  I will love her because of who she is, not what she does.  I don’t want  poor vision anymore.

I want God’s glasses.

Fear of . . . a flood

May 26, 2009

The rains are torrential today.   Looking out our window on the second floor, we notice the stream behind our house has doubled in size and velocity.

“Mom, what if it floods?” was the first question my daughter asked.

“It won’t flood because it’s down between two hills.”j0395964

“Mom, what if it doesn’t stay down?  What will happen?”

I put her to bed.  “Mommy, I want mommy,” she said in baby talk.

So, I stayed.  But every time I untangled myself from under her head, she woke up.  “Don’t go, mommy.”

What was going on?

Finally, I asked.  “Are you afraid?”

“Yes.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“No.”

“Are you worried about the rain?”

She nodded and buried her head in the covers.

I stayed and stayed and stayed.  And prayed for her to find peace in sleep.  She has fears.  I just don’t want them to become too big.  I want her to win the fight with those fears.

I worry.  And she fears.

What a pair.

The quiet observer

January 26, 2009

I surveyed the preschool cubbies, yup . . . every cubby except my daughter’s was filled with art.   Every single day.  For two years.  And the interesting thing was that when I asked, she said she liked to watch.  Really?  I didn’t understand at all.

It irked me.  I felt like a failure.  Then one day, I happened to see Dr. Marti Olsen Laney as I was flipping through the channels.  She described the introverted child as an observer.  I had to pause to hear more.  She talked about introvert’s preference to observe first and join later, if they joined at all.

Of course, I immediately ordered her book, The Hidden Gifts of the Introverted Child.  It changed my life.  Understanding my daughter as unique in her own personality type changed my irritation to understanding.  I can’t thank Dr. Laney enough for the research she’s done.

Even now, my daughter has to observe.  She does participate but she needs the time.  It’s not how I am – jumping in to change and new experiences.  But it doesn’t mean it’s wrong.