I thought this would be a great conversation for our Q A conversation this week.
Adelia had been getting a lot of negative attention, and she wants and actually craves attention so, positive or negative, it's attention. This I understood, but why hurt your friends? And when the warning came that she needed to improve her behavior and she couldn't, what was driving this?
I've come to understand a couple of things: one is that her prefrontal cortex is not yet online, meaning judgement and the reference of poor behaviors, isn't really there. I could see her trying to be good, doing lots of sweet behaviors and then losing it and doing an aggressive behavior, one she would ultimately need help getting out of, meaning getting some cues or signals from a caring adult that would help her get into her upstairs friendly brain.
So then I have to ask, are her brain behaviors broken? Or is the school and system of training broken? As I watch her adjusting in the new school she has a team of loving adults who have firm boundaries set and give incredible permission to play and explore. Adelia seems much happier at the new school.
So as I went through this with my daughter I also felt judged, rejected, scrutinized and targeted. I don't know what folks were thinking and I don't really care, I know that I felt everyday any wrong move on Adelia's part was a reflection of my parenting.
One day I had a sweet conversation with Adelia. I said, "Honey I love you no matter what. If this new school doesn't accept you, we will try another and another, or we'll get a helper. Whatever it takes I want you to be happy, have fun and enjoy your life." Then I spoke about the things that caused her to leave the old school and the things the teachers expressed concern about in the new school. In that moment I felt us begin to heal, unify and find a calmer, peaceful place, solid together.
So when you're judged you can begin to feel a pressure to see the world through the eyes of the person or institution judging you or your child. This lands like an entitlement, and can cause a kind of imprint. You may experience the feelings of being made a black sheep (you're the problem) rather then let's explore together solutions.
Adelia was being targeted at her former school, she was no longer being treated like a toddler learning, but like a little adult who could make good choices every time. I know when folks are thinking bad thoughts of another person, it's hard to show up as anything other than bad. This is control projection energy.
The funny thing is 4 weeks earlier I received praise from 4 teachers about the night and day difference in 6 months. Adelia was now talking, potty-trained, hugging and participating in class playing with other children. She was warm, affectionate and fun. She loves playing with the shy kids and bringing the fun. None of this ended, quite the contrary, she has made great strides in all areas, that is a significant point that she is doing well in so many ways.
Judgement feels like a hurricane, whirling, swirling and pulling you down down down, despite the fact that you may be on an upward trajectory prior to the onset of the storm.
My own body and spirit had a strong reaction of trauma and a distancing of spirit to my body. I know this because Adelia kept asking, "Mommy sad? Mommy mad?" She couldn't figure out the distant look on my face.
If you go through a passage like this let me suggest a few things that may help you to feel stronger, more confident and relaxed in your body faster. And the amazing thing, we got into a school that's known for a long waiting list. The director was actually amazed saying this never happens. I called Thursday and Adelia had her first few hours on the following Tuesday.
- Make sure you are getting in two meditations daily—one early morning and one prior to sleep.
- Get exercise outside, and don't process your situation while enjoying out of doors, just enjoy the moment.
- Yard work, gardening might help. It did help Adelia and I team up and feel like we were working together and having fun. (She asked a few times, "Mommy happy?")
- Get some extra sleep, a midday nap or just head to bed earlier.
- Remind yourself that you're loved, do this everyday in every way I'm getting better and better...or some version of that every hour.
- Stay positive. I immediately started saying God has a plan, no matter how things may seem to appear they're still working perfectly!
Know that you're loved and cared for. There are times when it seems the odds are stacked against us. Trust all is well, and move forward, remember to pray, ask God to help you as you progress through a difficult passage. Remember you can pump for any and everything. Just make a learning statement and pump your way to more ease.