Cherishing My Three Little Bears – #3 Interview & #4 Praise
In between all the crazy stuff of last week (sickness, work, birthday parties, specialist appointments, school and family catch-ups) I did manage to ask my kids a few things about how I was as a mother and what they thought I did best and what I could work on improving.
Gilbert Bear thought I was the best mum ever (completely understandable….) and loved that I give him lots of cuddles, let him eat the food he likes (hmmm) and get him what he wants (maybe I’m not sounding like the best mum ever now…).
He did say I could do better by leaving him alone when he’s playing and buying more paper for him to write on. I think I can work on those, although I did try to explain that there were reasons why mummy had to interrupt his play sometimes, for example when it was time to eat or go to school – I still don’t think he’s much impressed!
Matilda Bear thought I was also a great mum and loved it when I played games with her, pushed her on the swing, practiced tennis with her and paid her lots of attention.
Apparently I need to do this stuff a whole lot more as she then said that I would be an even better mum if I spent even more time with her. At least there’s nothing glaringly bad about me so far…that’s good, right?
Delilah Bear, being only 16 months, didn’t really give me a lot of feedback but I can tell she loves cuddles, she enjoys being in the backyard “helping” me put the washing on the line and she is mesmerised by books and music. I know for a fact she is currently mummy’s little girl and wants nothing more than to have big snuggles with me at every opportunity!
So, what do I take from all of this?
I do know I need to spend more individual time with each of them, which can be quite hard at times, particularly when I’m sometimes the only one with them. But I will have to work on this and take every opportunity to really spend some quality one-on-one time with each of them when I can.
Conversely, I know I also need to give them their own space, when possible/appropriate. They are all individual little people after all, who need to learn and observe by themselves, as well as with me.
While I do love that most of the time they just want to be with me I also want them to grow to be more independent and confident on their own two feet. This might be an interesting balancing act as we move forward, but I look forward to the challenge of guiding my three little bears as they inevitably grow up.
But I think I must be doing something right if their only real complaint is wanting more (or in my son’s case, less) of my love and attention – and let’s be honest, that’s the very least that my three little bears deserve!
I have always tried to give my kids all the positive encouragement I possibly can to build their confidence and their self-esteem. Having said that, it is easy to get into the “no, you can’t do that” negative trap, particularly when they’re young and seem to be getting into everything (I’m certainly not pointing at you, Delilah…)
This week I have tried to be more positive and encouraging and have taken more time to thank them for using their manners and following instructions.
I praised Gilbert for not flying off the handle completely when he lost a texta – he actually used a calm voice and waited reasonably patiently while I looked for it (I possibly would have praised him more if he had have tried to look with me, but we can’t have everything, can we?) This is actually a huge advance for him and he also knew he had made progress and done well.
I praised Matilda for following instructions when we were at Lollipops Playland the other evening, something we are working really hard on at the moment. I also praised her ever-improving reading skills and when she sang a song to make Delilah feel better as she is feeling poorly at the moment. I know for a fact that positive encouragement works really well with her.
I praised Delilah for putting some blocks away (I’m sure she meant to do it and it wasn’t just an accident!) and all those times she sang “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” which is very cute. I praised her walking skills, when she gently cuddled her stuffed toys and when she tried some new food. She is growing up way too fast!
Beyond this week I am going to try to continue to think more about how I speak to my three little bears and really emphasise the positive things they do. I want them to know when they’ve done a good job and to acknowledge when they’ve tried hard to do the right thing.
It is not going to be easy but I want to encourage their resilience, confidence and belief in themselves, which can only come from the continually demonstrated love and support of their family.
Next week, as part of Week 5 – Write, I am going to share how very proud I am of each of my three little bears…until then, go on over to Seven Cherubs and see how everyone else has praised their cherubs this week!
Do you want to become a more positive special needs parent?
Sign up to grab your free guide now! Full of practical advice from a fellow special needs parent.