This blog post is about all the NOT SO SMALL things that our children have accomplished that we sometimes wondered if they ever would (just being honest).
Over the years we have watched with envy as a ‘typical’ child walks up to their Mom or Dad and says “Can I have a drink of juice?” While our child cries and whines while we play a guessing game to figure out what they might need. We have watched ‘typical’ children play with a puzzle appropriately while verbally naming all the shapes and colors that are included in the puzzle. We have watched other parents at Birthdays or other social gatherings stand and socialize with the other parents while one of us is chasing our child who is unaware of danger and will go into the woods, out into the road, or just take off at any given moment. There are many more things that I could add to this list. When one of these things do seem to get better it makes an accomplishment that may seem so small to the parents of ‘typical’ children, a HUGE deal to us.
I want to start with our little girl. It was a daily struggle getting our girl to get up and get ready for school. She would cry, scream, tell us she was sick, not eat breakfast, refuse teeth brushing, and do any possible thing she could do to avoid going to school. I would sometimes have to literally carry her to the car kicking and screaming to get her to school. Then I would sometimes get phone calls from school that she refused to follow the teachers directions, ran out into the parking lot at school refusing to return, spent time in the Principals office because she was disrespectful to the teacher or her peers, and many more things.
Things have changed one hundred percent! She follows what her and I call her schedule or chart. It is pretty simple. It is basically a schedule of her day at school that has the numbers 1 2 3 after every activity. The rules for 1 2 and 3 are… 1. Do your work. 2. Do what the teacher says. 3. Use kind words. They check off every activity and she either gets a star or a circle for each number. The stars mean she followed the rules. The circles mean she did not follow the rules. This all gets figured into a percentage for the day. If she gets a good percentage at school she gets a prize time or prize at school. She also gets positive reinforcement at home as well. We will also reward her with a small prize at home for doing well at school. It may be as small as a piece of candy or a pack of stickers. She is doing so well in so many things. She is getting one hundred percents on her charts almost every day. She is doing well academically too! She is getting lots of good reports and notes from her teacher. She has even been named student of the week in her class twice this year! She is getting dressed all by herself, brushing her teeth, getting her boots on and we have been heading to school with pretty much no arguments! We may have a new struggle on our hands next year when she has a new teacher, new room, and other changes that come with a new school year. For now… we will take what we have…. and take it with PRIDE! We could not be more proud of her! We also are very fortunate to have a great group of teachers and staff at her school who have been a HUGE part of her success! Some of her successes may or may not seem small for a 7 year old girl. Either way…we are proud parents of a very special little girl.
Our little man has also come a long ways. He goes to day care 4 days a week for social interaction, special instruction and for many other reasons. He has also been having many successful days. When I go pick him up at 11:30 AM he is usually sitting at the table with a plate in front of him. He may or may not be eating but he is tolerating. He is interacting with other children, showing love to the babies, sitting for table top activities, and many more things. He is also showing so many improvements at home. He is appropriately playing with cars and trucks driving them around the house and on the table. He will bring us a sippy cup and say the words “You want juice?” He is giving kisses now (which makes me cry almost every time), he is verbally naming at least 9 colors, he will bring me a book and say “Can we read it?” He is doing so many new things! He works very well for verbal praise. He loves for you to clap for him. He loves you to cheer him on and use verbal praise for his good work. He is also starting to use a sticker reward type chart with his special instructor which seems to be working well with him. Material things (unless they are a monster truck or plow truck) don’t mean much to him. He does love to blow bubbles which is on his list of positive reinforcements.
We will take the successes with a smile. We could not be more proud of our boy! We also have many people to give credit to for his successes. The day care that he attends has been so helpful and great in so many ways. Child Development Services has done nothing but help us by setting appropriate goals for us to achieve as a team, even his favorite show “Peppa Pig” which he copies many phrases and sentences from. Some of these things may or may not seem so BIG for a 4 year old boy, but they are. They are HUGE…we are proud parents of a very special little boy.
We have had many different wishes and goals we have set for our children over the years. Some of these have been met. We may have a better chance of getting struck by lightening than knowing if some of these goals will EVER be met. I am not saying that we are the only parents that have dreams and goals for our children. I am just saying that our goals may seem small to the parents of ‘typical’ children. I am not saying that we are the only parents on the planet that have struggles with our kids and school among other things. I am just saying that these have been some of the struggles and successes we have faced. I am not saying that we are out of the woods and it will be smooth sailing from here on out. I am just saying that RIGHT NOW in this moment. I am one proud Mama. It makes me happy to see all these NOT SO SMALL changes happen! What more can I say? This is what has been on my mind for today 🙂