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October 29, 2008


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Ah, this sounds so familiar. Of my 4 children my #2 son was very much like your "problem child". I cried, I prayed, I wondered what I was doing wrong, etc etc. There were no good answers. I just want to tell you that now that they are all adults, he is the most successful, most charming, most fun to be with of all of them. Maybe part of his "difficult" nature came from knowing himself better than most kids do, I don't know. I just know that I never knew how to make things better, so I just did what I knew and did the best I could, and now I can see that it all worked out. You are an excellent mother, your kids will be fine and so will you.

I have 6 children all mixed - the other day, and come to think of it I will make the same decision today - when I was weary of ALL of them I made a conscious decision that "today I will have fun with my kids".
We had a great day, just ordinary fun. And the child who winds me up the most is often the child who wants to be close to me the most, usually at totally inopportune moments. Being the mum to 6 kids is hard, very hard, but I have known GOD to really help when I make an effort, esp. in the "enjoy my children" department.
GOD bless, Jamie, btw. I believe we blogged a few years ago on your previous blog about home birth (you must have received so many emails about this you won't remember, but I do, and by now I have had two of them).

Jamie, I can *so relate to what you have written. In regards to one of my children, some days I feel like the best mother, and some days I feel that I am failing miserably--well beyond "we all have a bad day sometimes." I don't have any profound words of wisdom, but just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone. God Bless.

Lovely post.

It's hard not to offer advice to someone who looks like they need it, isn't it? A good reminder to those of us who are always tempted to try to solve somebody else's problems.

I'm sure you realize that behaviors exist on a continuum. Your son's rigidity and social difficulties don't put him on the ASD, but they do make him challenging.

My 6.5 yr old daughter is so concrete that when her teacher told her to write "everything you know about weather" on a blank piece of paper, she couldn't finish the assignment. I suggested to her teacher that she choose different wording, something that would allow my daughter to write for a few minutes and then be comfortable turning her work in. Sigh. This same daughter nursed until 31 months (I weaned her to take meds that I needed), co-slept until she was 5 and still prefers physical contact with me to any other comfort. I didn't pray for holiness, but I still got a good challenge!

Personally, I believe that our children are hardwired to behave certain ways, and temperamentally set by their DNA. I can see my daughter's behaviors in my MIL and SIL. That doesn't make parenting them any easier, but maybe it takes some of the guilt away. I'm sure that you are doing the best you can do with your son, and that he is learning how to be a full human being by your example.


Ah CJ that's a tough one. I don't always deal well with one of my children's intensities and I can worry myself into a froth about them. I don't know what else to say about it.

One day at a time, you know? This far by faith, and all that.

CJ, I just read this out loud to my mom after a nice - very rare - afternoon with my spectrum kiddo.

One day at a time, indeed.

Tear on reading your last sentence! I have a child with Asperger's, and oh boy. It's been hard. He is very difficult, people don't understand how it effects your quality of life. I love him, of course, but I pray it gets a little easier as he gets older.
Sometimes a dx helps because there are certain methods of dealing with a child with AS. It can also help to quiet "helpful" relatives. The dx helps to explain to them what is true of any child. This child is unique, and his behavior must be treated accordingly by the people who know him best. His parents. Not because we always get it right, but because if anyone is going to get it right, it's us.

I am lucky in that my difficult one is also SO MUCH like me.I "get" her -- most of the time -- and find it not so hard to figure out what she needs because it's what I would need. Her personality overall is not a lot like mine; she's ten times more extroverted and friendly and overall happy than I ever was (another way in which I am lucky) but emotionally she's so much like me.

I read "Raising Your Spirited Child" and while it didn't necessarily improve my parenting, it made me feel a lot better about myself --I AM this way, is all, and all the parenting in the world couldn't have made me different.

You are a wonderful mother, not least because you bring so much discernment to the process. As a diffcult kid myself, I knew my parents loved me but I often feel they never really took the time to know me. You KNOW your children. This matters.

Also, diapers? I have a huge amount of adjustable somethings (name is escaping me right now) I bought used that didn't really work out for us. You want? They are yours for postage. (Not at all upset if you don't want, because used diapers ick and people have preferred systems and all, but you want, they are yours). I have the inserts too.

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