If I could give you one gift it would be to see yourself through my eyes and then you would see how special you really are.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

"Tiger mum"

One of my biggest fears has been that I would turn into that parent, yeah you know the one.
The helicopter parent that doesn't allow her child the freedom to have a go at anything, for fear of them getting hurt
the authoritarian parent setting strict behaviour rules with no warmth or thought for how their child thinks and the permissive parent allowing her child to get away with misbehaviour.
I am feeling that the perception of me by others is the worst parts of all three.

In the last two weeks I have had a parent in the playground inform me that my child has just punched and bitten her child, I was watching the altercation between the boys, my son being the much smaller and younger one,  although I am very aware that he is a scrapper, more than capable of giving what he gets when he is pushed, and I know that there was definitely a bit of pushing and shoving but definitely no biting. When I highlighted this the other mothers response was "well, if I was his mother I would want to know"  I wanted to respond with yeah, well you're not, but seriously what is the point child 4 is already getting the reputation in the playground as "that" child by a small group of righteous parents.

When I needed to get him seen at the doctors surgery' following a referral from the 111service, as we couldn't get his temperature down below 39* (keep in mind the febrile convulsion he suffered only 8weeks ago) I was made to feel like I would be wasting the doctors time and that I was just being neurotic and then when we arrived to see the on-call doctor, we were left waiting for 40 mins in the waiting room, until child 4 started fitting on the waiting room floor. The on-call doctor didn't have a clue what to do and I have never been so glad to see a paramedic again in my life.
I know that some of child 4's peers parents think I worry too much, that I keep him too close, that I don't allow him to play unsupervised and out of my eye sight. But I am the one that has to calm him down when things don't go right, when someone is mean in the forest school area, my child doesn't just shove back he uses the huge stick in his hand for maximum retaliation. He has absolutely no fear, so although I let him climb the tree, I need to be sure he won't climb too high, get stuck and panic or just show off and fall. 
Yes I know that all boys do the things he does, but with him, emotionally everything is magnified or just ignored. If he falls over, he does not always cry or ask for help, perhaps he is being brave or perhaps he still believes that he has to deal with pain by himself. Some of his peers have already realised that they can wind him up like a little toy, pushing his buttons until he can't cope and he goes off on one like a whirling dervish, be it being really silly or really angry. The staff at the nursery have picked up on this and proactively watch for this happening, removing the instigators rather than child 4.

Fortunately, I have a couple of really, really good friends, the ones that push a bit when you need sorting out and following this latest hospital trip I needed a fair bit of sorting out. For us this is just the beginning, I have to get out the big guns, strap on the armour around my heart and mind, I need to ignore other parents, I have to learn to speak in a language the professionals understand, whether they be doctors, nurses or teachers. We are responsible for child 4 and we have to be in his corner fighting for him - metaphorically at least. So I have learnt words such as hypothalamus and pulse oximeter, I have dusted off the interview stuff that Sally Donavan helped with care of her book The Unofficial Guide to Adoption and I am preparing myself to be a different type of parent that I have always been.
Keeping in mind that I am being the type of parent that my children need me to be, a parent that walks with them on their journey, holding their hands when the road gets tough, allowing them to make mistakes, to take responsibility and preparing them for when it's is time to fly solo.  Well no one else is going to do it are they?

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