Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Differential Parenting--My Reflection of being a first time Mom...

When my first child was born, I read everything about what it was like to have a baby to prepare myself and keep myself ahead of the game. I read parenting magazines and books on how to get your child to sleep, all to realize that it just fogs my mind and creativity.

It is funny how I believe the more I know made it harder being a mom. I should have just shut those books and followed what God gave me...a mother's instinct.

Some of the books I read were based on "typical" behaviors and they usually forgot to mention that your child may not follow these "typical" behaviors.

It makes you think as a mom that something is wrong with your child or you if your child doesn't follow the book. My son was opposite of everything they said in the books. Developmentally he did everything that was physical ahead of the game. From feeding to bedtime he has not followed the books at all. What other people tell me that works for their children never works for Noah. For example, when getting Noah to try a new food saying things like, "Eating _______will make you grow to be a big boy like your Daddy!" or "I would be so proud of you if you ate ____!" No what works is, "DONT YOU EAT THAT!!" and he freaking tries it.

As a first time mom that makes you feel so insecure and judged by others. I felt overwhelmed, stressed, and most of all angry at others for their comments. People made comments to me that maybe my son was autistic, spoiled, not disciplined at home, and allergic to certain things we were giving him to eat/drink. I got advice on how to discipline, get him to sleep, how I should be staying home with him, you name it I got it. And whether or not he was any of those things, I was doing the best I could.

I truly believe after having my second and being able to keep a schedule with both kids and the one I babysit, keep my house clean, watch afterschool kids, tutor 1-2 days a week, and work online every couple months, that experience, confidence, and the ability to follow my own advice and instinct is what makes me a great mom. Not the books or the advice from others....so to all the first-time moms out there...this is my advice to you. Take advice if you ask for it, shut the books and the Internet, close your eyes and use your instinct...cuz it will OUTRULE it all ladies!!

Enough of the venting and rambling....

Then, along comes my daughter who follows the books and advice to a T. But the funny thing is... I won't even pick up another book on how to raise a child....I have decided to just listen to my child, observe, and try what I think will works based on my child. I am not just talking about the sleep thing...it is all that goes along with being a parent.

Just as my training in becoming a teacher, what works for one child doesn't always work for another....differential teaching is what we call that. If a child learns best by doing things hands on, then you give them a project to do where he/she build something...or if a child learns best visually, you have him/her create a poster...blah blah blah....so... guess what??

Differential Parenting....is what I call it :) What works for one child doesn't always work for another when it comes to parenting. What worked for Noah as a toddler isn't necessarily going to work for Sydney. For example, we had to play the head games with Noah to get him to eat, but Sydney you just let her do it herself and she will eat whatever as long as she is being the BIGGIE GIRL!

Good luck Moms...
What is your advice to other moms?? Trials and Tribulations?? Feelings of being a first time mom??? Come on spill it!

7 comments:

Tracy said...

This is everything i am learning. We call it differential instruction for special needs. I feel that being a mom can make you a better teacher because we as mom's know that each child is different, but that is what makes each one special. Be careful with your blogging because if you constantly seek the advise of others be prepared to hear things that you don't want to. You are Noah's mom and you know what is best for him. Use your instincts. I have had a teacher tell me that she thought dom had add.....did i cry.....well so far so good but who know one day he may and i will deal with that if and when. Autism...i have worked with these children and Noah is not autistic.....dosn't have any signs.....he does have some peculiar things such as being a wild boar for 12 hours but we know he got that from shane. I'm sure with some patience and guidance he will blossom into the well slept child that you want. Just use your own instincts and again be careful what you ask for because advise is a tricky one since we all see different things and parent differently.

Courtney said...

I'm right there with you - my first kid was ahead of the game for everything. And he still is. He's difficult to say the least. Kid #2 followed in Big Bro's footsteps, with a slightly less difficult personality. Baby #3 is pretty much a by-the-book baby (with a gazillion ear infections). Some books are really great for information - when you really need to know something like how high is too high for a fever. But the books I have read are really useless when it comes to dealing with a very busy/difficult kid. My instincts are better, though I still feel like those are pretty useless on some days, too.

Great post. Reading your blog makes me feel so much more normal!!

Lisha said...

I only ask for advice when I want it...

I knew off the bat that Noah wasn't Autistic from being a special educator for 6 years, and I wouldn't say "peculiar" I like to call it creative and imganitive. Dom is an active little boy (like boys are supposed to be) cuz I saw the way he concentrated on scrapbooking. He definetly can focus. His teacher probably wasn't using differential learning styles like she was supposed to be using in a regular classroom. ERR some teachers are so quick to jump to labeling when they can't make their lessons interesting enough to hold attention!
For the record...I hope no one thinks I am accusing anyone on here for your advice. The only advice any of you have given me on here was asked for. This is more people in my daily life when Noah was a newborn/toddler. Like I couldn't raise a child...I would use names...but most of you who know me pretty well know who i am talking about.
THanks for listening...

Anonymous said...

Okay... what the hell do I have to gain?... her goes, Lish... having been an educator for Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and many other insane asylums (including my own little hell I am instructing here in WV)... Advice is like assholes... everyone has one and some people like to show theirs more than others. If you wanna see mine, just ask! Yep, I learned that from a very prominant Psychotherapist... and I am NOT kidding. You take some; you leave some... but if it is completely unsolicited and hurtful you sometimes need to face it head on and state the fact that it hurts.
Books are good references in parenthood, but like you said, you can't get wrapped up in fact that things don't happen by the book.
I ran the first ever Asperger's classroom in the state of NJ... you want an autism eval. NO... acting like a wild boar does not qualify for autism...
And by the way, did anyone ever mention to these teachers that it is actually against the law to tell a parent that the kid may be ADD????? Yes, it is against the law to practice medicine without a license and a teacher cannot make a medical diagnosis. They may refer to bouts of lack of attention along with documentation but a statement otherwise is against the law.
By the way, PLEASE ask me for advice, I like showin' my ass!
Hilary

Lisha said...

Hilary you are cracking me up! You got a nice ass to show ! :)
Tracey, if that is his current teacher, you might want to say something cuz you are in the state of NJ and should check into that. No onehas the right to tell you that...she could have said it like this." I noticed that Dom has exhibited blah blah blah...." Never should have said that to you...but now as a teacher you can come back at em!

Thank you Hilary for your thoughts. That is what I needed!

Mary said...

My darling daughter, you had an 'AHHH HAAAA' moment! I'm all smiles and so proud!

Cameron said...

~Sitting her with hands waving in the air...pick me, pick me...I like to show my ass too!!! LOL....Hilary, you crack me up and all the way back down!!! I guess I shouldn't use ass and crack in the same sentence...lol... Lisha, one should NEVER doubt their instincts and I am proud of you for throwing the book to the heavenly Gods and using those maternal instints God gave you. Thanks for asking for our advice...I believe that is how we truly can open up our minds to other peoples point of view. You may learn something from someone else or you can just hear what they say and continue on the path you ultimately want to take. It can't hurt though to share. Thanks for asking us to share. You kick ass as a mother, wife, and friend. (((((HUGS))))) Now go kiss that lovely princess and that creative, imaginative wild boar for me. They are awesome kids. Cameron agrees!!!!