Thursday, August 02, 2007

Convalescent Mode

Things have been slow around here. I started to try to write on the timeless question “How will unschooled children learn to deal with struggle and difficulty” but couldn’t get my thoughts to connect. But anyway, Ron already gave the secret.

I’ve been putting the house back in order — re-synchronizing. Kevin has been doing all the trivial little tasks involved in incorporating a small business. You would be surprised how many there are and how readily this essentially creative, project-oriented man can cope with these Days of a Thousand Small Tasks.

The little ones have developed this edgy whine when they call out for me, which seemed to be constantly, this morning. “MOM! I need some corn flakes. MOM! You didn’t give me a drink!” (I knew I shouldn’t have written that post about our family connections. I didn’t add that sometimes connections can be at cross purposes, or even short-circuits).

So it was timely for me to read these quotes from the Natural Child Project, on Catholic Momma’s Xanga blog:

Children deserve our best efforts to give them love and understanding at all times, even when - especially when - they are not behaving as we would wish. If we can show them compassion and understanding at those times, we can teach them by example some of the most essential ingredients of a happy life: the capacity to love others unconditionally, the willingness to offer help and express empathy at all times, and not just at those times when others are making life easy for us. If we can teach this to our children, we have given our child a priceless gift, one that will continue through the generations.

Here’s another one:

“Look past the behavior… what is your child feeling?” When we focus on a child’s needs and feelings, rather than the specific behavior we wish to change, we can then truly communicate our love for our child. That the behavior will then improve is almost a side issue. As Mozart wrote, “Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.” It is also the soul of parenting.

Now that you mention feelings, my children are probably feeling a bit insecure from all the comings and goings, not quite recovered from pox and needle pokes, and aware that Mama is a bit distracted with her own recuperation process. They are not expressing this in a civilized, mature manner. But then they are by definition immature, and only partially civilized. I have my whiny demanding moments too, and I don’t have their chronological justification.

It’s been hot here, which doesn’t help. It’s supposed to cool down this weekend though, and they will be past danger of infecting others, so we can get out of this house.

By next week I hope we will have normalized. But there is a season for these lulls, too.