We get to say ‘OMG parenting’ with many different inflections. I know because I am a parent. Also, I have been looking into the faces of babies, parents, and grandparents for over 20 years in my work as a clinical and public health nurse. I have felt the joys, hopes, disappointments, traumas, grief, fears, concerns, laughter and love of parents and children. I have heard their thoughts and feeling. I have seen their actions and the effects of those actions. I have interacted with the myriad of professionals who weave in and out of family life. Because of this and being a parent, I have a great appreciation for the range of experience that exists within and between each parent and child.
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Parenting Q & A
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A couple weeks ago, this question came from a Dad. Due to it’s nature, I wanted to wait a bit and see results from my answer! The question was: “We seem to go round and round on a few things with our 7 year old son, never really coming to a change. For example, he doesn’t like to follow a schedule, which makes planning things is difficult.”
I got in touch with this dad, asking a few things, including what his son was really good at. For this age group it’s important to know since they are super charging their problem solving abilities. So many clues about them in how they solve problems! Turns out his son was incredible at getting things done on Sundays, when they tried to be non-specific about scheduling; there might be things to get done but nobody scheduled when.
This boy gets things done when he follows his senses. My suggestions to Dad included that he talk to his son about how he’s noticed Sunday going so well. And that he and his wife experiment with letting-go of structured evenings.
“It’s working”, dad told me ten days later. “A bit touch and go. We needed to set a bedtime or he’d be up too late we found. BUT, after school has really changed. I guess he wanted to be in charge! He’s unique. I didn’t know a 7 yr old could be so grown up.”
Sometimes we’re getting clues about our child that we aren’t picking up on because of OUR needs! Happens to all of us. BTW, see how looking at your 5 -8 year old’s problem solving is a key to unlocking their brilliance.