|image source by Leeroy|
This is a post that I wrote January 2012. I share it again for those of you living with a spirited child or a child with ADHD. It is hard. But know you are not alone.
In the past few weeks, I have visited a few homes for playdates and the holidays. Many of these homes have children around our kiddos’ ages – early elementary, preschool, and toddlers. But there is a major difference between their homes and ours.
You might think that it is the size, cleanliness, or decor of each home. While these may differ, the glaring difference to me is where things are placed. I noticed in all of these homes that stuff is “out.” By “out” I mean that crayons are at child level and books are out on the coffee table. Toys are in bins and children’s rooms look like children’s rooms filled with toys and activities.
I have almost nothing out. As much as possible, things are placed high, in cabinets, or in locked closets. We have an easel without pencils and soap dispensers without soap.
Since we have a one year old you may think that Peanut is the reason for this. But, no Peanut does very well with boundaries. Actually, it is Little Man, our 3 1/2 year old who causes us to keep everything out of sight.
Little Man has virtually no impulse control. My knives are above the refrigerator. His closet door is always locked.
His room is stripped to the appearance of a jail cell.
If he finds a pencil, he will write.
If he finds soap in a dispenser, he will add water to make bubbles.
If he find scissors, he will cut. If he finds books, he will rip.
As I look around these homes, I feel bitterness creep in. Why can’t I have a craft cart? Why can’t I leave “pretties” out? Why can’t I leave shampoo on the tub walls? I feel defeated.
When I hear a parent vent about what their child did that was “so terrible,” I want to lay on the floor and cry “It’s not fair!” because their so terrible recount would be a fantastic day in our home.
For those who have never lived with a “Little Man,” understand that this
is more than a discipline issue. What we are dealing with is not a
strong will. This is more. So much more.
I realize that the enemy uses these feelings to defeat me. He wants me to stop training Little Man. He wants me to give up. Throw in the towel. Label him a lost cause.
But by the power of the Holy Spirit, I will not. I will keep fighting. I will keep training. I will get up one more time to steer my little ship in the right direction because God has big plans for this little boy. God gave Little Man to me because He knew I needed him and Little Man needed me. And God has given me everything that I need to raise Him.
There are huge blessings to being Little Man’s momma. Not every mom can boast that their two years old could say the entire books of the New Testament with crystal clear pronunciation. How many mommas can say that their 3 years old can write his name and ride a bike without training wheels. Not every mom can be the mom of a boy who is loved and amazed by all who are around him. Not every mom can have a boy who loves on her with undying affection even after several moments of discipline. I have been given a gift.
So, I will pull up my big-girl panties and keep going. I will not be defeated. Little Man needs me and I am not alone in this journey.
Three and a half years later, I would love to say that Little Man has grown out of this mayhem but I can’t. What I can share is that he has come a long way. While there are still many discouraging days., there are also a lot of very rewarding ones. And God is showing me that I don’t have what it takes but He will work through me to know exactly what Little Man needs at exactly the right time. To God be the glory.
Read more about our journey with Little Man.
Lizz @ Yes, and So is My Heart says
I can relate in so many ways. My Little Man is five and we are finally beginning to see some impulse control. But I still have to be constantly vigilant. Your post today encouraged me to also continue to be the Mommy he needs and know that God will give me what I need for the job.
I needed to read this today, and if I could stop crying for 2 seconds I would actually get this comment out! My 8 yr old beloved SPD son has come a long, long way in just a few years, but yesterday was still a reminder of how tough they can be. We tried ice skating for the first time. [Firsts are always rocky territory.] Between the temperature and the core muscle strength that activity takes, it took every last thing out of him. It rocked his little world, and then his reaction rocked mine. It's just like you explain here…all the other children could do it and even with a few spills could handle it. He was in an entirely different world. It was so hard, so painful. He is uniquely gifted and that setting didn't showcase those giftings in any way. I've been needing to cry since this whole thing happened, so thank you for helping me finally do it. Crying is so cathartic.
Hang in there and keep up the fight. You will reap the rewards and fruit of your discipline! From another mom with a 6 year old Little Man! 😉
I can relate in our case its a 15 year old. His room has a bed everything else is in the closet with a lock on the door. Since gaining a little sister that is three. We have toys and art supplies out in the main areas of the house. 99% of the time he leaves them alone. We have gone months without a ripped book. But all the kid bath soaps are in the hallway by the bathroom. If we move them to the bathroom everything will go down the drain. But we can have soup by the sinks. As he has gotten older things have improved. Just keep trying.
Amen, amen, amen! Thanks for the encouragement and be encouraged! I found this to be really helpful too:
Thank you for your post. I recently stopped doing some Early Intervention work as a social worker because I was finding that the majority of the kids I was seeing were doing "better" then my son. It impacted my work and Ihad a difficult time empathizing with their needs. My little man is amazing and so intelligent that it boggles my mind and I often pray that God would help me to love him as he needs to be loved and that he would give me patience because at points in the day I feel exhausted. I get upset with myself when I am quick with him and when my frustration takes over because I dont want to do anything to hurt his spirit. You reminded me of the importance of not being defeated! Thank you
I so understanding. Praying God will provide you with the strength, patience, and wisdom.