Monday, November 08, 2010

Paying attention to the Speaker, even when it's me...

I came home in a very good mood. I had a great flight, a good ride on the shuttle, finished a big project I was working on, and was generally just feeling good. That helps. Because the kids were who they typically are all day and evening.

As in most family systems, we have instigators and we have responders. Dominyk is the classic responder to everyone. Tony is also a responder, but is most often an instigator. Rand is a responder, but sometimes and instigator, and Jimmy is an instigator. Ricardo, Wilson, Sadie, and Leon often serve as the bored audience to repetitive behaviors, like arguments about who is most "retardeder." But they can also be tempted to instigate and, once and a while, respond.

So yesterday, everyone bored, and their parents somewhat preoccupied in reconnecting, there was a lot of instigating and a whole lot more responding. But in the midst of it, I found myself fairly calm, which always helps not to amp things up.

You know, it always works better when I pay attention my own advice -- be authentically more calm than your child, don't engage in arguments, focus on relationship rather than behavior, yada yada yada.

But when I do those things, stuff goes better. So maybe my message does make sense. ;-)


Mami said...

New to this and have been considering becoming a Foster Parent. I have come across a lot folks who have have way less number of kids they foster. My question is how did you end up with so many and why? It seems super stressful dealing with just one or two. How are you able to devote any type of attention to your kids, your husband, your self when so many people need you? I am not trying to be judgmental. I really am just curious. I'm sure you started off like me, wanting to help and than you got one than two, than three etc...I seriously don't know how you do it.

Claudia said...

Well, we got a bit carried away during the beginning. If you read my book I think you'll see how we acquired the children and what our motivation was.

Large families work differently than smaller families. I think all parents of large families can attest to that. Attention comes from all kinds of people and it ebbs and flows -- I'm not sure that I can explain it. But my husband and I have always had work with flexible schedules where some of it can be done at home and I think that our kids actually receive more attention from parents than many kids in families with two or three kids where both parents work full time outside the home.

If you want to come visit and see how we do it you're welcome! ;-) I'm not sure how we do it either, but it seems to work ok most of the time!

Miz Kizzle said...

I'm curious. Who won the "more retarder" title and was it considered a good thing or a bad thing?
My kids debate who has the most pimples and who the dog likes more. They get it from my husband and me. We once argued over whose family of origin was more dysfunctional.