Sunday, November 23, 2008

Doing Things Differently

Salinda has been spending her weekends at her boyfriends house. The whole concept bothers me on many level and a few years ago if you would have asked me I would allow this, I would have said under no uncertain terms that it would be ridiculous.

However, here are some reasons why this is working very well:

1) There are a lot of very good things about the family and Salinda seems to be spending more time with his mom than she is with him while she is there. Salinda needs a good female role model of her own race and this mom is doing an excellent job of providing her guidance.

2) Salinda does not have any good friends here in our town. And as much as I would like to encourage her to go out and make some, she doesn't have my personality and I'm not sure she knows how. When she doesn't go to his house on weekends, she gets bored and often sinks to the level of returning to old friends. It never goes well.

3) She is very helpful and productive up there. The mom has her engaged in several projects and when she is here she often spends most of her time watching law and order reruns, although lately she has been working for us to earn money to buy Christmas presents.

4) She is genuinely grateful to me for helping provide transportation. I think she is figuring out that I am doing it because I love her and she is slowly accepting that gift.

5) But most importantly, the 45 minutes to an hour we spend on the way up there has been awesome the last two or three weeks. Salinda is an introvert and does not make conversation easily. She is not going to seek me out in our house and try to get my attention away from those more demanding. Her schedule the last three weeks has been such that we have not been able to make time for just the two of us, and so we don't talk much. She writes me notes, but usually she avoids the chaos that surrounds me. But when we are driving she has started to open up.

Back in the day when she was angry all the time, we would travel somewhere and she would give me the silent treatment. She would purposefully fall asleep and not say a word. Now she chats the whole way and I learn more about her life than ever before

Sometimes doing things differently pays off. It may not fit into what would be listed in the "best parenting" books, but it works.

1 comment:

Mary said...

There is no "right" way or "wrong" way; each child has different needs and ways to meet those needs. I'm glad you've been able to find a middle ground with Salinda that allows your relationship to grow. Sometimes, co-parenting is an amazing tool!